Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
www.dps.state.ia.us

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Thursday, July 1, 2010 amurphy@dps.state.ia.us
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

DON'T GET "POPPED" FOR DRUNK DRIVING THIS JULY 4TH

Des Moines, IOWA --- In conjunction with the Fourth of July holiday period, Iowa law enforcement agencies are announcing they will again be out in full force July 2nd through the 5th, cracking down on impaired drivers and other traffic violators to prevent crashes and save lives.

In anticipation of the warmer weather and an extended weekend, law enforcement is gearing up for the 4th of July holiday.  In addition to speed and seat belt violators, they will also target drunk drivers.  “Driving while drunk isn’t worth the tremendous risk,” said Larry Sauer, Bureau Chief at the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau.  “No matter your age, if you’ve had too much holiday spirit, you’d better find a safe and sober ride home or your chances of arrest are high.”

Sauer cited recent statistics to underscore the importance of the crackdown.  “According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration during the 2008 July 4th holiday (6:00 p.m. Thursday July 3rd to 5:59 a.m. Monday July 7th) our nation recorded a total of 491 traffic-related deaths.”

Although Iowa had only 2 traffic fatalities in 2009, our 10-year average for this holiday period is 5.  “Too many people still fail to understand that not buckling up, exceeding the speed limit and driving impaired leads to loss of lives.  It’s vitally important that we bring this tragic situation to an end,” said Sauer.  “The cost of not obeying these and other traffic laws could be your life or the life of a loved one.”

During the 2009 July sTEP wave (special Traffic Enforcement Program), 237 agencies had contact with 472 alcohol/drug impaired drivers, 1,465 seat belt violators and 6,435 speed violators.  In all, more than 16,200 traffic violations were recorded.  Beyond these violations, officers assisted 844 motorists, investigated 344 traffic crashes and apprehended 143 wanted persons.

For more information, please visit www.iowagtsb.org, www.StopImpairedDriving.org. or contact:

Randy Hunefeld
sTEP Coordinator
Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau
215 E. 7th Street
Des Moines, IA  50309-0248
Phone:  515-725-6124
Fax: 515-725-6133 E-mail: hunefeld@dps.state.ia.us
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