AMES, Iowa – This is a big weekend in Ames celebrating it’s 150th Birthday. Ames Police want to caution drivers to be careful with drinking and driving. Extra officers will be on patrol this weekend under a grant from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau.
Ames Police Commander Geoff Huff said, “we’ll have some extra staffing out, part of the ‘Drive Sober Don’t get Pulled Over,’ we’ll be out looking for impaired drivers.” Officers will be on the streets from Thursday night through Sunday, July 5, when the celebration concludes.
Nationally, the latest statistics for 2012 show 10,322 people were killed in drunk driving. The same year across the country 179 people were killed that weekend. Drunk driving nationally is responsible for one third of all fatalities. Drunk drivers are more common at night, 39 percent of the fatalities involve a drunk driver.
Officers of the Ames Police Department will be looking for people who are driving erratic, and for those who have been drinking, they will be arrested. Those arrested can expect to feel a pain in the wallet. The cost of an OWI arrest including jail time court costs, attorney fees, and loss of license, can cost over $10,000.
People who do plan to drink should designate a driver. Huff of the Ames Police said “the designated driver is someone that doesn’t drink at all, not the one that had the least.” Huff says that if you are with a friend who has had too much you should take their keys. Also he adds, don’t be afraid to call the police if you see a drunk or impaired driver.
Earlier this week the Iowa Department of Transportation and other state agencies introduced “Zero Fatalities” an effort to try to reduce fatalities in the state.