Local deputies will be out in full force as part of the annual nationwide Fourth of July weekend "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" crackdown on drunken driving.

Local deputies will be out in full force as part of the annual nationwide Fourth of July weekend "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" crackdown on drunken driving. The crackdown, which will include high-visibility enforcement through Lawrence County, will run from July 2 through 6.

The effective nationwide drunken driving crackdown will include high-visibility enforcement and high-profile events and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb drunken driving over the Fourth of July weekend holiday.

Lawrence County Sheriff Brad DeLay said his deputies will be aggressively looking for drunken drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving drunk.

Although it is illegal in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive drunk (having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher), far too many people across the nation get behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol. The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration underscore the serious nature of the nation's continuing drunken driving epidemic.

"Every year, about one third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more impaired drivers or motorcycle operators," said DeLay. "In 2013, 223 people were killed and 692 seriously injured on Missouri's roadways in accidents that involved at least one substance-impaired driver."

DeLay added the Fourth of July weekend holiday is particularly dangerous. During the Fourth of July holiday in 2013, 243 DWI arrests were made statewide.

"Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign reduces drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. By joining this nationwide effort, we will make Lawrence County's roadways safer for everyone throughout the holiday," said DeLay.

"We want to remind everyone that getting behind the wheel drunk is a terrible idea. Unfortunately, not only does drinking impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely, it also impairs your judgment and good sense about whether you can or should drive. If you have any doubt about your sobriety, do not get behind the wheel. If you chose to drive impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses," DeLay said.