MACHIAS — If you’re thinking of drinking and driving, don’t.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Department announced last week that it has launched an intensive crackdown on people who drink and drive. The crackdown started Monday and lasts through Labor Day.

The Sheriff’s Department is participating in a nationwide crackdown known as “Drunk Driving Over the Limit. Under Arrest.”

“Nationally, more than $50 million will be spent on this year’s crackdown,” Sheriff Donnie Smith said in a press release. “In 2006 alone, nearly 13,000 people died in crashes in which the driver or motorcycle rider was legally impaired, according to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.”

Among those killed: 306 children under age 15.

“All too often, innocent law-abiding people suffer tragic consequences and the loss of loved ones due to this careless disregard for human life. Because we’re committed to ending the carnage, we’re intensifying enforcement during the crackdown. We’ll be especially vigilant during high-risk nighttime hours when impaired drivers are most likely to be on our roads,” Smith said.

In every state as well as the District of Columbia it is illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams per deciliter or higher.

More than 10,000 police agencies will participate in this year’s mid-August through Labor Day crackdown, the release said.

The WCSO plans to aggressively look for any and all impaired drivers during the crackdown and arrest them.

“Our message is simple and unwavering. If we find you driving impaired, we will arrest you. No exceptions,” Smith continued. “Even if you beat the odds and walk away from an impaired-driving crash alive, motorists should be aware that the consequences of driving while impaired can still virtually destroy your life.”

Violators often face fines, jail time and loss of license. Their insurance rates go up. There also can be additional charges of attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work and the potential of job loss or job prospects.

“Driving impaired is simply not worth all the consequences. So don’t take the chance. Remember, if you are over the limit, you’re under arrest,” Smith added.

The “Drunk Driving Over the Limit. Under Arrest” crackdown is led by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and combines high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity.

For more information on the crackdown, visit the High-Visibility Enforcement Campaign Headquarters at