'Tis the season in Lousiana. We are king cake eating, bead catching, street dancing, fools. Occasionally some of that revelry is accompanied by an alcoholic beverage or two or more.  For local law enforcement and the Louisiana State Police this fun time can be a time of tragedy if you don't pack a little common sense in your parade plans.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign that was used over the Christmas and New Year's holiday season is in effect for Mardi Gras. What this means is that more officers will be patrolling the streets and highways looking for impaired drivers. You can expect zero tolerance from these officers if you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence.

We're not so naive as to expect that no one will drink this holiday season. But we want to publicize the extra enforcement information and try to get some outreach in the hopes it will reduce impaired driving.

That's what Lt. Colonel John Leblanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission told the Louisiana Radio Network.  Contrary to what many people believe law enforcement officials would rather not arrest you for driving under the influence. They would rather you simply did not drink and drive. That's why they offer this peremptory message in hopes that you will designate a driver or make other transportation arrangements should your Mardi Gras celebration include alcohol.

We always have extra funds available for law enforcement to do some extra enforcement during those peak times because that's when it's really needed.

Last  year during the Mardi Gras season nearly 600 alcohol related crashes were handled by law enforcement agencies across the state. There were ten fatalities reported because of those crashes. Half of those crashes involved alcohol. The statistics don't lie. Drinking and driving is no way to celebrate the joie de vivre we love in Louisiana.