OKLAHOMA (KFOR) – Each year, hundreds of Oklahoma moms, dads, children and grandparents die because someone chose to get behind the wheel impaired.
“A lot of times when we make decisions, and they’re bad decisions, we think about us. How does this decision affect us?” stated Trooper Eric Foster with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
According to Foster, we are in the 100 most dangerous days to drive. It starts on Memorial Day, but Foster said Labor Day weekend is the pinnacle of that.
“You’ll never hear us say, ‘Well, there [was an] accident,” said Foster. “These are crashes. There was a decision made to be intoxicated and then drive.”
The decision to drive under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription medication could lead to severe consequences.
In 2020, 396 people were killed in drug or alcohol-related crashes.
During the Labor Day holiday, 2021, there were 479 crashes throughout the state of Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. Eleven of these crashes were fatal, resulting in the deaths of 12 persons. Of the 480 crashes, 53 were alcohol and drug-related. This means that over 10 percent of the holiday crashes on Oklahoma roads involved a potentially impaired driver.
OHP and several other law enforcement agencies will set up DUI checkpoints this weekend to prevent other Oklahomans from dying.
“We mean business,” said Foster. “If you are intoxicated, you will go to jail when you’re stopped by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.”
It’s not just the roads; many Oklahomans will be hitting the lake to soak in the last summer holiday weekend. OHP’s lake patrol will be looking for people operating boats under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a recurring issue.