New Hampshire State Police kicked off their Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over safe driving initiative on Wednesday in an effort to reduce the number of crashes, serious injuries and fatalities due to impaired driving.

The initiative is a border-to-border, statewide saturation patrol effort that runs through Labor Day with extra patrols funded by the NH Office of Highway Safety and grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

63 local police departments will be part of the effort to identify and remove impaired drivers from New Hampshire’s roadways, according to Captain Christopher Vetter, Commander of the New Hampshire Office of Highway Safety.

During a kick-off press briefing at the southbound Route 93 service area in Hooksett, Gov. Chris Sununu said that while commuter traffic is down leisure travel has increased.

"That’s travel and tourism and people enjoying long weekends in New Hampshire. And our message is simple, ‘You have to be responsible. You have to take responsibility for yourself, your family and those around you.' We all have a part to play in this," Sununu said.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over kickoff (NH Dept. of Public Safety)

Last year, thirty-nine peopled died in alcohol-related crashes on New Hampshire roads according to Department of Safety Commissioner Robert Quinn.

"It is impossible to quantify the pain that these families went trough and it is even more heartbreaking knowing that it was entirely preventable," Quinn said.

The New Hampshire Office of Highway Safety offers these safety recommendations:

  • Impaired driving is entirely preventable and never acceptable.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, report them to 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Buzzed driving is drunk driving and it is never okay to drink and drive.
  • Always designate a sober driver or plan to use a ride service to get you home.
  • If you have a friend who is about to drink and drive, take their keys and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
  • Obey posted speed limits.
  • The wearing of a safety restraint is the single most effective way to avoid serious injury if you are involved in a traffic crash.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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