The numbers are shocking: In 2017, one person died every 48 minutes in a drunk-driving crash in America. These deaths account for approximately one-third of all traffic deaths each year, with 10,874 deaths occurring in 2017 alone. Even with drunk driving illegal in all 50 states and Washington, DC, the numbers remain similar year after year. Ultimately, drinking and driving is a choice, and it is a choice that puts all road users at risk.
To help keep people safe on the streets and put an end to drunk driving, local law enforcement will be out in full force in support of the 2019 Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. Between August 14 and September 2, 2019, law enforcement officers nationwide will team up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to participate in high-visibility enforcement, pulling over and arresting drunk drivers.
Drunk driving isn’t the only risk on the road: Drug-impaired driving is also an increasing problem on our nation’s roadways. If drivers are impaired by any substance—alcohol or drugs—they should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Driving while impaired is illegal, period. The bottom line is this: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Drive High, Get a DUI. It’s that easy.
During the 2017 Labor Day holiday period (6 p.m. September 1 – 5:59 a.m. September 5), there were 376 crash fatalities nationwide. Forty-four percent of those fatalities involved drivers who had been drinking (.01+ BAC). More than one-third (36%) of the fatalities involved drivers who were drunk (.08+ BAC), and more than one-fourth (26%) involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the legal limit (.15+ BAC). Among the drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 who were killed in crashes over the Labor Day holiday period in 2017, 42 percent of those drivers were drunk, with BACs of .08 or higher.
The decision to not drink and drive should never be a tough one. Drunk driving is illegal and can be deadly—to the driver, to his or her passengers, and to other road users. If you cannot control your own behavior, a law enforcement officer will. “We’ll be out on high alert, seeking out drunk drivers during the holiday period, showing zero tolerance for anyone driving drunk. If we find you driving drunk, you will be arrested—no excuses.” said Chief Al Roechner.
“Our commitment to enforcing drunk-driving laws never ends. Drunk driving is never okay. If you are planning to drink, plan ahead for a sober ride home. Even one drink is one too many.”
Remember these tips for a safe night 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 to get home safely.
•Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android, Apple’s iTunes Store for iOS, 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 ride-share service to get home.
•If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact your police department.
•Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
Ultimately, drunk driving is 100-percent preventable. Don’t make the choice to put yourself and others at risk.
For more information about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign, please visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.