FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.
Operation Commander/Public Information Officer
MEMORIAL DAY OPERATION BY SHERIFF'S OFFICE TARGETS INTOXICATED BOATERS AND MOTORISTS: Jefferson County, Arkansas – May 21, 2013 – With a newly formed Water Rescue and Enforcement Team, this Memorial Day Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Deputies will be out in force targeting intoxicated boaters and motorists as part of a Memorial Day Operation. The Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol will deploy a numbers of their vessels to assist in patrolling the waterways for Memorial Day in conjunction with taking part in the Nations “Click It or Ticket” seatbelt enforcement campaign, which focuses on the enforcing seatbelt laws. Although the “Click It or Ticket” campaign only runs through June 2, 2013, deputies remain ever so vigilant of the campaigns main goal of raising public awareness about seat belt laws in an effort to reduce traffic injuries and death.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrative revealed that of a total of 396 Arkansas passenger vehicle occupant fatalities ranging from age 5 and above during motor vehicle collisions in 2011were determined to be unrestrained or not wearing safety belts.
In 2012, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Deputies arrested forty-seven (47) individuals for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI); a 104.3% increase and twenty-four (24) more than in 2011, when deputies arrested a reported twenty-three (23) individuals for driving under the influence. “The alarming numbers for motor vehicle fatalities on state roads in past years involving unbelted victims along with the increase in arrests for DWI and other traffic infractions indicate the need for campaigns such as “Click It or Ticket”. Through this national joint enforcement effort, our agency will focus in particular on educating travelers. Motorists who don’t use restraints are at greatest risk of injury or death.