DUI Crackdown

Thursday, August 26, 2010 - 9:16am

A new study released by the transportation department shows drunk driving is on the rise.

The government reports there are 17 million drunk drivers a year, often with deadly results.

The nun pictured here was killed by a suspected drunk driver three weeks ago.

NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said, "We have got to do more to close the gap between believing that drunk driving is a threat and actively doing something about it."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is spending 13 million on ads and teaming up with 11-thousand police agencies for Labor Day.

Captain Ed Leonard of Loudon County, Virginia said, "Our message is clear: drunk driving, over the limit, under arrest."

In the government's new survey, one in five admit hitting the road just two hours after drinking while a quarter of drunk drivers report drinking three times a week or more.

Jenna Bales' father was one of them. He died this summer in a police chase.

"He was an alcoholic but he wasn't a bad person. He was a really good dad and he did love us," said Bales.

The survey found nearly one in 10 people hopped in the car with a drunk driver in the past year. Authorities emphasize solutions.

Vernon Betkey, the Director of the Maryland Highway Safety Office said, "If we eliminated drunk driving on our highways, and also had 100 percent seatbelt usage, we would cut the amount of fatalities we have by one half."

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