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Annual 'Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over' Campaign Cracks Down On Drunk Drivers

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The annual campaign aims to reduce the high number of deaths caused by drunk driving.
James Palinsad: https://flic.kr/p/hRLqkj
The annual campaign aims to reduce the high number of deaths caused by drunk driving.

We've all heard this warning more times than we can remember: don't drink and drive. Yet the federal government says more than 10,000 Americans die each year in drunk driving crashes, and now, the annual "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" crackdown is underway.

If familiar-sounding warnings about the danger of killing yourself or someone else do not deter you, or if the financial burden that comes with a drunk driving conviction isn't enough to make you think twice about doing it, maybe the words of this man will:

"My name is Miguel Vela, and I am a murderer."

The left arm of Vela's suit coat hangs empty down his side. He lost the arm when he drove drunk and crashed on July 20, 2003, killing an 18-year-old girl named Roshanda Tangle. His warning to all late-summer partiers today is: don't be like me.

In the years following the crash, the guilt, the self-hatred and depression set in. I attempted suicide three times and almost got swallowed by the darkness. But no matter what, I always realized it was nothing compared to what I put Roshanda's family and her loved ones through.

Vela opened up about the torment he confronts every day at a news conference outside Department of Transportation headquarters, where safety officials said the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will begin Aug. 15 and continue through the Labor Day holiday weekend.

More than 10,000 police departments and law enforcement agencies across the country will participate in the special focus on pulling over drunk drivers.

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