November 24, 2004
The Thanksgiving holiday is considered one of the most active weekends of the year, and one of the holidays during which Alaskans head across town or across the state to enjoy the occasion with family and friends. Consumption of alcoholic beverages is often a part of these celebrations.
According to research by the National Highway Safety Administration, the performance of drivers with Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 is 40 to 60 percent worse than when they have no alcohol in their system. Skills such as braking, steering, changing lanes, and emergency responses are all affected at BAC .08. The crash risk is 16 times greater than that of a sober driver.
Last year, according to the Alaska State Troopers there were 59 highway collisions and 1 fatality over this holiday enforcement period. Troopers made 15 DUI arrests, issued 92 speeding citations and warnings, and 14 safety belt and child restraint citations and warnings.
Col. Julia Grimes, Director of the Alaska State Troopers said, "If you choose to drink, designate a sober driver so everyone can make it home alive." She said, "Operation CARE, the Combined Accident Reduction Effort, will also be in effect over this holiday weekend."
Operation CARE is a traffic safety public awareness effort made up of law enforcement agencies throughout the country, in an attempt to reduce the number of accidents along our highways. Grimes said, "Troopers will be out in force over the weekend enforcing the speed, safety belt, child restraint, and impeding laws while keeping an eye out for drunk drivers. The goal is a safer holiday for everyone."
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