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Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over begins Aug. 18

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over begins Aug. 18

For Immediate Release: Aug 14 2023
STATEWIDE, N.D. – Law enforcement agencies across the state will have extra patrols for the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement period Aug. 18 to Sept. 4, 2023. Vision Zero reminds drivers to always drive free from impairment of alcohol and/or prescription or illicit drugs.

Impaired driving includes more than alcohol and can include medical marijuana and/or prescriptions drugs. Kristi Pettit Venhuizen is the state’s Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor. She works with law enforcement, county prosecutors and Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) to help educate the public that prescriptions can also cause impairment.

“The biggest impediment we have is that juries are under the presumption that if a doctor gave them the drug it’s okay for them to be using it and then driving,” explains Pettit Venhuizen. “We are working hard to change the perception that prescriptions can also be an impairing substance. If there is a warning not to operate heavy machinery, that includes your vehicle.”

North Dakota has 52 DRE Law Enforcement Officers across the state that are specially trained in recognizing if a person is under the impairment of drugs. Drug-related impairment can be different than alcohol impairment and includes restlessness and exaggerated reflexes.

Alcohol and drug-related crashes are 100% preventable. Many lives would be saved in North Dakota each year if every driver consistently makes the choice to always drive sober, designate a sober driver or use a taxi or ride-hailing service.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is a part of the Summer H.E.A.T. (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic) strategy and Vision Zero initiative to eliminate motor vehicle crash fatalities and serious injuries on North Dakota roads. Summer H.E.A.T. will take place through August to encourage everyone to wear a seat belt, use appropriate child passenger safety seats, follow all posted speed limits and drive sober and distraction-free.

Learn more about traffic safety initiatives at or join the conversation on the Vision Zero ND Facebook or Twitter page.