Police promise enhanced road patrols
Staff Report | August 16,2014
Through Labor Day weekend, law enforcement agencies throughout Vermont will be participating in an intensive cooperative enforcement effort to reduce impaired driving as part of the national, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.
The work of police departments in Vermont is supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In addition to the patrols conducted by municipal police departments, sheriff departments, constables and the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, the Vermont State Police’s Combined Accident Reduction Effort, or CARE program, will be out on Vermont’s highways and streets watching for impaired drivers or others who might present a danger to themselves, their passengers or others on the road.
Many law enforcement officers in Vermont have received specialized training from the Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement, or ARIDE program.
Not all impaired drivers have been drinking alcohol and some police officers have received extensive training to be certified nationally as drug recognition experts. These officers will be part of the teams in many areas of Vermont during what police are calling a “high visibility enforcement” campaign.
In Vermont, nearly half of the crashes which result in serious injury or death involve impaired drivers.
This year, 26 people have lost their lives on Vermont highways. Many more people sustained life-changing serious injuries as a result of impaired drivers.
Police point out that the danger presented by impaired drivers is not only to others but to themselves.
The police will be using data gathered about crashes and impaired drivers to choose “high risk” locations, times and dates for sobriety and safety checkpoints.
However, drivers should expect patrols and checkpoints to be conducted during the day and night.
Thomas Fields, a liaison between the Governor’s Highway Safety Program and law enforcement, made an appeal to those who will be driving on Vermont roads during the last few weeks of the summer.
“There is no good reason to drive if you are impaired to any degree. You, your family and others on the roadways can be a victim because of poor choices of a few,” he said.