National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month
Don’t Wreck the Holidays!
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
It’s the most wonderful time of the year—until you get a DUI.
- For many Americans “holiday cheer” involves consuming alcohol at parties and holiday events. So it comes as no surprise that there’s a spike in drunk driving crashes each December.
- During the 2012 holiday period (December 12-31), there were 1,698 people killed in crashes on our Nation’s roads, and almost a third (31%) of those fatalities were in drunk-driving crashes. On Christmas Day, 26 people were killed by drunk drivers.
- Over the entire month of December 2012, a staggering 830 people lost their lives in crashes involving a drunk driver.
- Drunk-driving fatalities happen around the holidays year after year. In crash fatalities in December from 2008-2012, there were a total of 3,994 people killed in crashes that involved drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 33,561 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2012, and 10,322 of those fatalities occurred in drunk-driving-related crashes. More than one in five crash fatalities that year occurred in a crash that involved a drunk driver with a BAC at or above .15, – almost double the legal limit.
- Compared with other age groups, teen drivers are at greater risk of death in alcohol-related crashes, even though they’re too young to legally buy or possess alcohol. Nationally in 2012, 28 percent of the young drivers (15 to 20 years old) killed in crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher.
- Too many drunk drivers aren’t learning the lesson the first time: in 2012, more than half (53%) of the drunk drivers in fatal crashes had at least one previous DUI conviction on their record.
You’re not above the law—drunk driving will cost you.
- In every state, it’s illegal to drive with a BAC or .08 or higher, but some people seem to think they’re above the law. So law enforcement nationwide is cracking down on drunk driving this holiday season. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
- There’s no happy holiday ending to drunk driving. The risks just aren’t worth it; you could find yourself in the back of a police car headed to jail, or worse — you could kill someone or end up seriously injured or dead yourself.
- Law enforcement actively looks for drunk drivers, especially around the holidays. If you are caught driving over the limit, you will be arrested.
- Some drivers think they can just refuse a breathalyzer test if they get pulled over, and avoid the consequences of a DUI. Not true. In many jurisdictions, refusing to take a breath test results in immediate arrest, the loss of your driver’s license, and the impoundment of your vehicle.
- Consider the legal and financial costs of driving while impaired. You not only face jail time, the loss of your driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work — there’s also the added humiliation and consequences of telling family, friends and employers of your arrest.
Plan a sober ride home for the holidays.
- Before you attend that office party or holiday open house, make a plan to get home safely. If you plan on drinking, designate a sober driver ahead of time and leave your keys at home, or program the phone number of a friend or local taxi service to your phone.
- Before you take your first sip of alcohol, have your plan in place. If you wait until you’re too impaired to drive, you’re more likely to make an impaired decision. Alcohol affects your judgment, so you might think you’re “okay to drive” when you’re not.
- Even one drink can impair your judgment and reaction time and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk — or worse, having a crash.
- If you have been drinking, there’s always another way to get home safely. You can call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
- Some DUI offenders say the reason they drove drunk was because they didn’t want to spend money on a cab. The average DUI costs $10,000. Wouldn’t you rather pay cab fare?
- Help others be responsible, too. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. They’ll thank you for it.
- Call the police if you see someone driving drunk. It is your business. Getting drunk drivers off the roads saves lives.
Keep your holidays happy and safe. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
For more information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.