Together with agencies across the nation, Iowa’s law enforcement officers will join the “Over the Limit. Under Arrest.” enforcement effort as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) initiative and the special Traffic Enforcement Program (sTEP).

Officials from city, county and state law enforcement agencies throughout Iowa will have heightened enforcement from Aug. 18 through the Aug. 31.

“Our purpose continues to be convincing the motoring public to buckle up, save lives and reduce serious injuries. During this sTEP wave we need to further focus our attention on getting drunk or impaired drivers off our roadways. We need the help of the motoring public to buckle up, slow down and drive sober,” said Randy Hunefeld, sTEP Coordinator with the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau. “Traffic safety is the business of every law enforcement officer. With increased patrols and focused enforcement across Iowa this Labor Day holiday, the odds of getting arrested for drunk driving or receiving a traffic ticket are greatly increased. Reducing death on Iowa roads is our biggest challenge.”

Alcohol-related traffic deaths have risen in Iowa for three consecutive years, finishing 2007 with 111, up 40 percent from the all-time low of 78 set in 2004.

During the July 3-6, 2008 sTEP wave, participating agencies reported 397 contacts with alcohol/drug-impaired drivers, 1,501 safety belt violations, 6,174 speeding violations, 249 stop sign/traffic signal violations and a total of 14,344 enforcement contacts. Officers assisted 805 motorists and apprehended 96 wanted persons, seven felony and 75 narcotics arrests during that period.

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