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Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.

Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. logo

2007 Labor Day Crackdown Kickoff Event

August 20

Remarks of GHSA Vice Chairman Vernon Betkey

Thank you, Nicole. I am grateful to both you and Secretary Peters for your strong safety leadership at DOT. And thank you, Chief Scott for hosting us today.

I'm glad to be here today speaking on behalf of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the national organization that represents state highway safety agencies across the nation. GHSA is proud to stand with our partners to deliver a simple message for those who may consider driving drunk: you will be arrested and the consequences will be severe.

"Over the Limit. Under Arrest" isn't just a slogan, but is a reflection of the growing impatience of states with drunk drivers. The time for excuses and exceptions has long passed. From coast-to-coast, state highway safety agencies are firm in our resolve to end this tragic epidemic of drunk driving. In the D.C.-area, law enforcement agencies are participating in a special "Checkpoint Strikeforce" enforcement effort.

Enforcement is a large component in reducing drunk driving, but to truly eliminate it, more must be done. To this end, GHSA is proud to be a part of MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. As our good friend Glynn Birch will tell you shortly, this effort is already paying dividends in stronger drunk driving laws. GHSA supports the need for ignition interlocks for all first-time offenders and we commend Louisiana and Arizona for recently passing these life-saving laws. I hope that when I stand before you next year, many more states will have passed this critical legislation.

As a former officer with the Maryland State Police, I am all too familiar with the toll of drunk driving. I can't tell you how difficult it is to deliver the message that a family member has been killed due to a drunk driver. Despite this and the numerous other challenges facing law enforcement, our officers are absolutely committed to ending the epidemic of drunk driving. As I indicated, if you drive drunk, you will be arrested. President Carter, thank you for all that you and IACP are doing to keep our families safe.

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