Child Passenger Safety Week 2018

Every day in America, millions of parents and caregivers travel with children in their vehicles. While some children are buckled-in properly in the correct car seats for their ages and sizes – most are not, if they are buckled up at all. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 46 percent of car seats are misused. To help combat this issue, the Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department announced today its participation in Child Passenger Safety Week, a campaign dedicated to helping parents and caregivers make sure their children ride as safely as possible – every trip, every time. Child Passenger Safety Week runs from September 23-29, 2018 and is sponsored by NHTSA.

Every 33 seconds in 2016, a child under 13 was involved in a passenger vehicle crash. Using car seats that are age- and size-appropriate is the best way to keep your children safe. According to NHTSA, motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children, and fatalities are on the rise. Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts can make all the difference. In 2016, there were 328 children under the age of 5 saved because they were in a car seat. Car seats matter and having the right car seat installed and used the right way is critical.

Too often, parents move their children to the front seat before they should, which increases the risk of injury and death even if they are buckled up. The safest place for all kids under 13 is always in the back seat. Also, according to NHTSA, in 2015, about 25.8% of children 4 to 7 who should have been riding in booster seats were prematurely moved to seat belts, and 11.6% were unbuckled altogether.

NHTSA recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible, up to the top height and weight allowed by their particular seats. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing-only “infant” car seat, he/she should travel in a rear-facing “convertible” or all-in-one car seat. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing size limits, the child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat with harness, children should be placed in booster seats until they’re the right size to use seat belts safely.

The Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department has 3 Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician’s willing to ensure your child’s car seat is installed correctly.  Please call (802)372-4482 for an appointment.

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Labor Day Campaign

This Labor Day, and Every Day: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

The high-visibility national enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, runs from August 17 through September 3, 2018. During this period, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for impaired driving. Increased State and national messages about the dangers of driving impaired, coupled with enforcement and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce impaired driving on our nation’s roadways.

The Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department, in conjunction with the State of Vermont Governor’s Highway Safety Program and U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), will be conducting increased high visibility traffic enforcement to reduce crashes, traffic deaths, injuries, and enforce impaired driving laws to save lives during this campaign. DUI checkpoints will be conducted throughout this campaign as well as DUI high visibility saturation patrols.

Each year, Americans mark the end of summer with the Labor Day holiday weekend, a time to celebrate the hard work and many accomplishments of our country. Friends and families eagerly await pool parties, backyard barbecues, and other occasions to enjoy the last days of summer sunshine. This is also the time of year when our children typically return to school following their summer vacation. Sadly, the Labor Day holiday has also become one of the deadliest, with impaired drivers endangering themselves and others on their way home from these holiday festivities.

Statistics prove that we have a lot of work to do to put an end to impaired driving. According to NHTSA, 10,497 people were killed in impaired-driving crashes in 2016. On average, 10,000 people were killed each year from 2012 to 2016—one person killed every 50 minutes in 2016. That’s the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors.

There is a small, silver lining: During the 2016 Labor Day holiday, 36 percent of fatalities in traffic crashes involved an impaired driver, which was one of the lowest percentages over the five-year period from 2012 to 2016.

As of 08/01/2018, 35 people died on Vermont highways compared to 29 deaths at this time last year. Driver impairment, speed, failure to use safety restraints and distracted driving continue to be the leading causes for these tragedies.

High visibility enforcement has been the key to success in Grand Isle County evident in minimal law enforcement response to serious injury crashes or fatalities. Please continue to help us prevent senseless tragedies!

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4th of July Campaign





Each year on July 4th, Americans celebrate the birth and freedoms of this country. Before you head out for your celebrations, make sure you plan for a sober way home. The Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department is taking part in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, June 29-July 5, 2018, to put an end to drunk driving. In support of law enforcement’s dedication to protecting the lives of residents in their communities, you’ll see increased enforcement on the roads with zero tolerance for those who drive impaired.

Nationwide, during the 2016 Fourth of July holiday (6 p.m. July 2 to 5:59 a.m. July 6), 188 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. This is a 28-percent increase from 2015, during which 146 people were killed during the same holiday period. That’s 188 families who will forever remember Independence Day with a heavy heart and nightmarish memories.

Under no circumstances is it ever acceptable to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after you’ve been drinking. Doing so endangers you, and everyone on the road with you. If you’re heading to Fourth of July parties this summer, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

Prepare for the Fourth – tips for a safe family holiday on the roads:

  • Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride sharing service to get home safely.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact the Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department (802-372-4482 during normal business hours or 802-524-5993 anytime).
  • Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

The Costs of Drunk Driving

Impaired driving is dangerous, even if you’re “just buzzed.” When you drive impaired, you risk your life and safety, and the lives and safety of those riding with you and around you. Does death not get your attention? Maybe money will: A DUI arrest could cost you up to $10,000, not to mention the loss of your vehicle and driver’s license. You could face jail time, higher insurance rates, and hefty expenses from attorney fees, fines, car towing, repairs, and lost time at work. Imagine trying to explain that to your family, friends, or employer.

This Fourth of July, commit to only driving 100-percent sober. Don’t lose your independence on Independence Day, and don’t be a deadly risk to yourself and other innocent people.

Remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over & Buzzed Driving is Impaired Driving!!!

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Click It or Ticket Campaign Starts May 21

Click It or Ticket Campaign Starts May 21

Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department will show zero tolerance

As the unofficial start of summer, the Memorial Day holiday weekend is a busy time for Americans. Each year, the highways fill with families in vehicles, on their way to start their summer vacations. To help keep drivers and passengers stay safe, the Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department is reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket. Aimed at enforcing seat belt use to help keep families safe, the national seat belt campaign will take place May 21 through June 3, concurrent with the busy travel season.

“Buckling up is such a simple task that can keep you and your family safe in the car,” said Sheriff Allen. “But it’s more than that. Buckling up is the law. Our law enforcement personnel see the consequences of not buckling up. We see the loss of life. Often, it could have been prevented with the simple click of a seat belt. This should be automatic.”

“As the Memorial Day weekend approaches and the summer vacation season ramps up, we want to keep our community members safe, and make sure people are doing the one thing that can save them in a crash: buckling up,” said Sheriff Allen.  “If the enforcement crackdown wakes people up to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider it a success.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly half (48%) of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2016 were unrestrained. At night from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number soared to 56 percent of those killed. That’s why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.

Almost twice as many males were killed in crashes as compared to females, with lower belt use rates, too. Of the males killed in crashes in 2016, more than half (52%) were unrestrained. For females killed in crashes, 40 percent were not buckled up.

“If you know a friend or a family member who does not buckle up when they drive, please ask them to consider changing their habits,” said Sheriff Allen. “Help us spread this life-saving message before one more friend or family member is killed as a result of this senseless inaction. Seat belts save lives, and everyone—front seat and back, child and adult—needs to remember to buckle up—every trip, every time.”


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Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department 16th Annual R&R Camp July 16-20, 2018

The Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department is pleased to announce the 16th Annual Sheriff’s R&R (Respect & Responsibility) Summer Camp.  R&R Camp is a 5-day (8:00am– 4:00pm) adventure based program involving team building activities, water activities, and a rope course. R&R Camp emphasizes respect for self and others, and taking responsibility for one’s actions. Issues facing young adults and dangers associated with alcohol, drug and tobacco use will be discussed.


Camp is limited to students currently enrolled in 5th through 7th grades who will be age 14 or younger on 7/1/18. Only children that reside full time in Grand Isle County are eligible to attend.


Mandatory final registration and an informational meeting are scheduled for Sunday, July 15, 2018 at 5:00pm at the Folsom School in South Hero. The camper must attend the final registration meeting with a parent or guardian.


The cost of the camp is $50.00 per camper. Breakfast and lunch will be provided daily. Transportation to and from Folsom School will be available at each town’s elementary school.  The camp will be based out of Folsom School and the campers will travel to various locations via bus to the day’s planned activities.


Registration Forms will be available on April 17, 2018 at and in The Islander newspaper. Registration is required along with the registration fee by May 11, 2018. Registration is limited to 50 campers.  Camp slots will be filled on a first come-first served basis with a completed Registration Form and payment.  Camp usually fills within one week so submit your application as soon as possible. A waiting list will be compiled.


Camp correspondence will be conducted through email. Please provide a valid email on your Registration Form. An information packet and camp schedule will be emailed to all campers prior to the start of camp.


If you have questions concerning the camp, please feel free to contact Lt. Donna Polk or Bridget Campbell of the Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department at 802-372-4482.


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Put Your Phone Away or Get Ready to Pay

Put Your Phone Away or Get Ready to Pay.

Distracted Drivers Beware of U Drive. U Text. U Pay.


For the past decade, distracted driving has taken the Nation’s roads by storm, endangering not only those who drive distracted, but also those drivers’ passengers, adjacent vehicle occupants, and nearby pedestrians. Distracted driving takes many forms: talking on or manipulating the phone, adjusting the radio, applying makeup, eating, or drinking can all distract a driver from the essential task of safe driving. However, texting is one of the most common, pervasive forms of distracted driving, and too many drivers are succumbing to this deadly—and illegal—habit. That’s why the Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to raise awareness about the potentially deadly risks from texting while driving. From April 12 to 16, 2018, as part of the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign, law enforcement will be watching closely for distracted drivers.


Frightening Stats

According to NHTSA, 3,450 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2016.

  • In 2016, 9.2 percent of fatal crashes in 2016 were reported as distraction-related.
  • Texting while driving has become an especially problematic trend among millennials. According to NHTSA, young drivers 16 to 24 years old have been observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers since 2007.
  • Nine percent of drivers 15 to 19 years old who were involved in fatal crashes were reported as being distracted at the time of the crash in 2016. This age group has the largest percentage of drivers who were distracted at the time of a fatal crash.
  • Handheld cellphone use while driving is highest among 15- to 29-year-old drivers, but female drivers are most at-risk for being involved in a fatal crash involving a distracted driver.
  • Female drivers with a cell phone have been more likely to be involved in fatal distracted-driving crashes as compared to male drivers every year since 2012.

Safety Tips for Driving

  • If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road, it is safe to text.
  • Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
  • Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.
  • Cell phone use can be habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Put the cell phone in the trunk or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination.
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2018 St. Patrick’s Day Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving News Release




This St. Paddy’s Day, Don’t Rely on the Luck o’ the Irish:

Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most popular holidays in the United States. St. Paddy’s Day is heavily celebrated by most Americans with friendly pinches and green beer galore. Sadly, all this merry-making can lead to dangerous driving conditions as party-goers head home. In 2016 alone, 60 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Paddy’s Day holiday period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18). The selfish act of drinking and driving can rip people from their friends and loved ones forever. For this reason, the Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department is working to spread the message about the dangers of drunk driving. Even one drink can be one too many. If you’re heading out for the Irish festivities, plan ahead and remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.


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Superbowl Campaign

Don’t Fumble: Tackle Drunk Driving Before the Clock Starts

Kickoff on America’s favorite pastime is just about ready to start. For many football fans, when it’s time for Super Bowl LII, everyone’s a fan…and Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.

The Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department and local law enforcement officials are huddling up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a special Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk reminder to urge football fans across the nation not to drop the ball on this issue.

In all states, drivers are considered alcohol-impaired if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Drunk driving can be deadly, and even small amounts of alcohol can impair judgement to make driving unsafe. In 2016, there were 10,497 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drunk drivers. Among the 10,497 alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities, 67 percent (7,052) were in crashes in which at least one driver had a BAC of .15, almost twice the legal limit.

Be sure to have a game plan for the night so friends and family know who the designated driver is. Please give your keys to a sober driver – our vote for game MVP – before you begin drinking. Sober designated drivers should be sure to carry the ball and refrain from drinking alcohol.

This Super Bowl weekend, be a team player and help keep impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel. Don’t fumble! Designate your sober driver before the big game begins. And remember: Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.

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2017 Holiday Campaign

The holiday season is a time full of parties and festivities, but that also means more drunk drivers are on the roadways. With the excitement of holiday celebrations, partygoers might find themselves “buzzed” after having just a drink or two—and without a sober ride home. Law enforcement actively looks for drunk drivers around the holidays. Just one drink can impair your judgment and increase your risk of getting arrested for driving drunk—or worse, causing a crash if you’re behind the wheel. Many factors determine the effect alcohol has on your body, and it can vary depending on factors such as your weight and when you last ate. This holiday, remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. If you plan to go out and enjoy the evening with alcohol, make sure you refrain from driving. Review these facts and share the word about the dangers of drunk driving.

Stay Off Santa’s Naughty List: Don’t Drink and Drive.

  • This holiday season, Vermont Law Enforcement Agencies are partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over drunk-driving enforcement campaign to help keep impaired drivers off the road. The campaign runs from December 13th to December 31st, 2017.
  • According to NHTSA, 37,461 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2016, and 28 percent (10,497) of those fatalities occurred in a crash during which a driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of .08.
  • According to NHTSA, 781 people lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver during the month of December 2016.
  • From 2012 to 2016, there were 3,995 people killed in December crashes that involved drivers with BACs over the legal limit of .08.

Drinking and Driving Will Cost You—Possibly Your Life.

  • On average, a DUI can set you back $10,000 in attorney fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, car towing and repairs, and more.
  • The financial impact from impaired driving crashes is devastating. Based on 2010 numbers (the most recent year for which cost data is available), impaired-driving crashes cost the United States $44 billion annually.

Plan a Safe Ride Home Ahead of Time—This Holiday Season, and All Year Round.

  • First: Plan ahead. You know whether you’ll attend a party. If you plan to drink, plan for a sober driver to take you home. Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take that role seriously—your friends are relying on you.
  • Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve only had one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get home safely.
  • Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android devices: (, and Apple’s iTunes Store for iOS devices: ( SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
  • Use a Designated Driver.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact the Local Law Enforcement.
  • Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get them home safely. Don’t worry about offending someone—they’ll thank you later.


Keep your holidays happy and safe by letting someone sober do the driving. Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.


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Thanksgiving Seat Belt Campaign

Click It or Ticket This Thanksgiving and Every Day

Thanksgiving Click It or Ticket Campaign Extra Enforcement

  • During the busy Thanksgiving travel period, law enforcement agencies will partner with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), State, and local law enforcement and highway safety advocates across the country for the national Click It or Ticket campaign. Across the country, these men and women will participate in a high-visibility mobilization to ramp up patrolling to crack down on seat belt use.
  • The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times of the year, which means more vehicles will be on the roads. Increased vehicle activity leads to the potential for more crashes and more fatalities.
  • Failing to buckle up puts you and other vehicle passengers in a potentially deadly situation. It’s also against the law – plain and simple. There’s never an excuse to not wear your seat belt.
  • The Click It or Ticket campaign combines increased awareness with increased patrolling to reach as many Americans as possible with one key message: Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to save your life and the lives of your loved ones while on the road this Thanksgiving.

 Not Buckling Up Can Be Deadly

  • During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2015 (6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25, to 5:59 a.m. on Monday, November 30), there were 301 passenger vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes across the nation, a decrease from the 341 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2014.
  • Compared to Thanksgiving weekend in 2014, there was an 11-percentage-point decrease in the number of passenger vehicle occupant fatalities in 2015, and an 8-percentage-point decrease in the number of those who were unbuckled when they were killed that weekend.
  • Nighttime is deadlier than daytime in terms of seat belt use. Over the 2015 Thanksgiving weekend, 57 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes at night were unbuckled, compared to 49 percent during the day.
  • During all of 2015, a total of 22,441 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in crashes, and nearly half (44%) of them were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. Among passenger vehicle occupant fatalities in 2015, the age groups of 13-15 and 18-34 had the highest percentages (57% and 58%, respectively) of occupants who were unbuckled at the time of their fatal crash.

Seat Belts Save Lives

  • According to NHTSA, seat belts saved approximately 13,941 lives nationwide age 5 and older in 2015. If everyone had worn seat belts that year, an additional 2,804 lives could have been saved.
  • Proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to serious injury by 50 percent.
  • Ejection from a vehicle is one of the most dangerous events that can happen to a person in a crash. In fatal crashes in 2015, almost 8 out of 10 (80%) of the passenger vehicle occupants who were totally ejected from vehicles were killed. Wearing your seat belt is the most effective way to prevent ejections; only 1 percent of the occupants reported to have been wearing their seat belts were totally ejected in a crash, compared to 30 percent who were unbuckled.

This Thanksgiving—and every day of the year—remember, Click It or Ticket.

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