The North Dakota Department of Transportation wants to remind parents and young drivers that the approaching summer months bring added opportunities for underage drinking. To combat these temptations, law enforcement will have extra patrols to enforce the law on underage drinking from June 1 to July 19. Law enforcement will conduct compliance checks and shoulder taps as a part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign.
Drinking under the age of 21 is illegal. No matter the age, law enforcement seeks to educate drivers that driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is illegal and dangerous. If underage persons are found to be consuming or in possession of alcohol, those individuals could face fines and end up in court.
In 2019, 42% of crash fatalities in North Dakota were alcohol-related.
“We want everyone on the road to be safe, including our young drivers who might not yet understand the personal responsibility that comes with driving,” said Fargo Police Chief David Todd. “Youth may not realize there are very real consequences for their actions and this campaign helps us reinforce the dangers of underage drinking.”
Alcohol and drug-related crashes are 100% preventable. Many lives would be saved in North Dakota each year if every driver consistently made the choice to always drive sober, designate a sober driver, or use a ride-hailing service.
This campaign is part of the Vision Zero summer H.E.A.T. (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic) strategy to eliminate motor vehicle crash fatalities and serious injuries on North Dakota roads. Over the past five years, more people have died in motor vehicle crashes in warm weather months (May through October) than cold weather months. H.E.A.T. will take place through August to encourage everyone to wear a seat belt, use appropriate child passenger safety seats, drive sober and distraction-free, and follow all posted speed limits.