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STEP Enforcement To Target Drunk Driving

By Staff | Aug 27, 2009

A nation-wide campaign to save lives on the nation’s roadways will be observed locally in upcoming days by deputies of the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Dennis Goeders and his deputies will be participating in the National Drunk Driving Campaign, “Over the Limit-Under Arrest” which will be observed Aug. 21 through Sept. 3.

The Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office will join some 250 other law enforcement agencies in the state, from city to county to the State Patrol in focusing their enforcement efforts in getting impaired drivers off the roads.

“Driving drunk or drugged is a life-threatening proposition, not only for those who do it, but for all those who use Iowa’s roadways,” explained Larry Sauer, Bureau Chief of the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau. “Despite the fact that alcohol-related traffic fatalities decreased from 111 in 2007 to 79 in 2008, far too many lives are still being lost to this senseless criminal act.”

Iowa Commissioner of Public Safety Eugene T. Meyer agrees. “Through high visibility, sustained enforcement, Iowa peace officers will remain vigilant, removing more drunk and drugged drivers from Iowa’s streets and highways and working to keep Iowa’s roadways safe.”

The annual Special Traffic Enforcement Programs, or STEP efforts, usually coincide with periods of higher travel on the state’s roadways, such as holidays. During a STEP enforcement conducted July 2-5 of this year, the 225 participating law enforcement agencies reported 464 contacts with alcohol or drug-impaired motorists, along with 1,451 seat belt violations. There were 6,360 speeding violations and a grand total of 16,059 enforcement contacts. Officers rendered assistance to 815 motorists and arrested 141 people wanted on warrants, as well as investigating 326 traffic accidents.

The Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office, along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Iowa Department of Public Safety and the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau remind drivers that the message is very simple – “Over the Limit, Under Arrest” and urge people to be responsible and designate a sober driver or to be sure not to drink and drive.

The next Special Traffic Enforcement Program in Iowa is scheduled for the Thanksgiving holiday in November.

For additional information on STEP programs, go to : www.iowagtsb.org or www.nnhtsa.dot.gov.