The Decorah Police Department and the Winneshiek County Sheriff's Department are participating in a statewide special enforcement effort now through Sunday, Sept. 8.

City, county and state police will be out in force as part of the annual nationwide "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" crackdown on drunk driving. The crackdown, which will include high-visibility enforcement throughout Iowa, is timed with the Labor Day holiday, Monday, Sept. 2.

Iowa ranks second as having the lowest number of alcohol related fatalities in the nation.

"While it is illegal to drive drunk (having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher) in all 50 states, 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 drunk driving epidemic," said Colonel David Garrison, chief of the Iowa State Patrol.

"Every year, about one third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more drunk drivers or motorcycle operators. In 2011 9,878 people died across the nation in crashes involving drunk drivers. That is approximately one drunken driving fatality every 53 minutes," he said.

During last year's Labor Day holiday, there were no reported alcohol related fatalities in Iowa, however there were 4 fatalities.

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

"Driving drunk is simply not worth the risk. So don't take the chance. Remember, we will be out in force and we will be watching, so 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,' " Garrison said.