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- From April 1 to May 20, law enforcement agencies across North Dakota will
have extra patrols enforcing the law against underage drinking, as well as
conducting compliance checks and shoulder taps, as part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled
Over campaign. In the midst of proms, graduations, and other
activities for teens and young adults in North Dakota during this time of year,
deterring teens from alcohol and/or drugs is a critical message for law
enforcement to communicate.
“Teens in North Dakota have made good decisions to get them to this point in life. We hope those good decisions continue this spring, as they choose not to drink and drive. Don’t waste years of good decisions by making one bad one,” said Lieutenant Jeff Solemsaas, Bismarck Police Department.
This enforcement effort is to educate and
deter teens from drinking in order to keep them safe. If law enforcement does
find anyone underage consuming or in possession of alcohol, those individuals
could end up in court and ordered to pay fines. There are zero excuses for
driving under the influence, but particularly when a person is underage.
A number of Students Against Destructive
Decisions (SADD) groups exist in North Dakota, to educate young people about
core issues impacting their lives, including traffic safety decisions. The
Thompson Public School SADD chapter in northeast North Dakota is one example of a group using student and
community-involved activities to show the consequences and dangers of driving
impaired. The chapter recently hosted a game night in their school gymnasium
where students used vision-impaired goggles to simulate the effects of alcohol.
The group also plans a mock crash event in the spring with local community
agencies illustrating the ramifications of driving after drinking alcohol. Over
the past five years in North Dakota, more than 300 people have died in
alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes.
Patty Krebs, Thompson Public School’s SADD
Advisor said, “If we can get students to stop and think about the choices they
are faced with, hopefully when placed in that situation they will make the
right decision because they have seen firsthand through our SADD events the
effects that alcohol can have.”
The NDDOT administers federal grant funding
for underage drinking enforcement as part of an overall effort to prevent
deaths and injuries on North Dakota roads. Learn more about the efforts to
prevent teen driver crashes at VisionZero.ND.gov or join the conversation on
the Vision Zero ND Facebook or Twitter page.
Families are invited to create memorials for
young drivers and passengers who have died in crashes by visiting the North
Dakota Crash Memorial Wall at VisionZero.ND.gov. Each memorial is built on
the hope of preventing another death.