Don't drink and drive.
Area drivers may want to be extra-mindful of the slogan over the next 2 1/2 weeks as police are cracking down on impaired driving.
Organized as part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, the crackdown kicked off Wednesday around the region and will last through Sept. 1. Communities participating in the campaign have received a federal grant through the state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security's Highway Safety Division. They include: Bedford, Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Groton, Lowell, Methuen, Tewksbury, Townsend, Tyngsboro, Westford and Wilmington. The amount of grant for the police departments in these communities ranged from $6,000 to $28,000.
In Westford, police said officers will be "aggressively looking for all impaired drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone they find driving while impaired -- regardless of age, vehicle type or time of day," according to its press release.
A fatality due to alcohol-impaired driving happens every 51 minutes across the country, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The fatality increases to one every 34 minutes during Labor Day weekend. In Massachusetts, crashes stemming from drunk-driving killed 123 people in 2012.
Violators would face jail time, loss of their driver's licenses and a requirement to use ignition interlocks in addition to insurance-rate increases and court and attorney fees, according to the Westford Police Department.