During the Labor Day holiday from 2012 to 2016 in Louisiana, 22 of the 44 highway fatalities involved a drunk driver, according to statistics from the Highway Safety Research Group at LSU.

Law enforcement agencies across Louisiana are beefing up their highway patrols through Labor Day to take impaired drivers off the road and into a jail cell.

"Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" is a nationwide, high-visibility enforcement campaign sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission. Lisa Freeman, executive director of the LHSC, said Louisiana State Police, sheriffs' offices and police departments across the state will deploy extra patrols to keep the roads safe for holiday travelers.

"If you are caught driving while impaired, you put yourself in a position to be arrested and prosecuted," Freeman said. "Impaired driving is a serious problem in Louisiana, and our law enforcement partners are taking a 'no excuses' approach to impaired drivers in order to keep our roads safe."

During the Labor Day holiday from 2012 to 2016 in Louisiana, 22 of the 44 highway fatalities involved a drunk driver, according to statistics from the Highway Safety Research Group at LSU. Freeman said another 349 people were injured in alcohol-related crashes during that same period.

Deciding not to drink and drive is only the first step, Freeman said. It's also important to help loved ones whose judgment may be clouded from alcohol or drugs.

"Please don't let your friends drive drunk," Freeman said. "Get them a designated driver, a taxi or safe ride-share to keep them safe. By being proactive, you could save lives - of your loved ones and of the innocent people who are on the road. What an important goal that is."

Contributed by the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission