Starting tomorrow, through the new year, The Department of Transportation will have law enforcement working overtime for their Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
Their hope is keeping drunk drivers off the roads. Our Malique Rankin introduces us to one man who has become a voice for this campaign.
Nearly 9 years ago, Steve Kilde began a normal day on the job as a lieutenant at the Bismarck Police Department.
It was his mom’s birthday.
Steve Kilde: “I knew when the captain for the department was trying to get ahold of me, something was not right.”
The call came from Mercer County, his mother was at the hospital in Hazen with severe injuries following a car crash.
She was transported to St. Alexius in Bismarck, and her children began to realize how grim the situation was.
Steve Kilde: “One of the first things he started talking to us about was organ and tissue donation. That’s never a good conversation I guess.”
As an officer, Steve’s job was to protect and serve.
Because of this crash, he learned that sometimes, he can’t protect those that matter most to him.
Steve Kilde: “The vehicle that hit my mom, they thought it was going over 100 miles per hour when the crash occurred.”
Then, he found out the driver that hit his mother was drunk.
Steve: “You know, that was maybe the hardest thing to accept.”
Steve’s mother was taken off life support and died the following morning.
But now, the family hopes to use their story of tragedy to raise awareness.
Steve Kilde: “if you can say or do something that changes one person’s mind, I think it’s a success.”
And as we enter the holiday season, through the campaign, DOT is hoping that we do better this year.
Ashlee Doan; Safety Public Information Officer: “Last year, during the drive sober get pulled over campaign, there were 160 alcohol and drug related citations.”
North Dakota was one of 5 states awarded a grant to encourage drivers to find a sober ride. Through this grant, $10 vouchers for lyft will be made available for the first 1,000 users from December 14th through the 31st. All you have to do is use the coupon code VisionZeroND if you’re using a Lyft between 5 pm and 2 am.
The DOT wants us to remind you, 100 percent of alcohol-related crashes are preventable. If you think you see an impaired driver, call 9-1-1.