“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”
That is the message from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Labor Day Weekend will be the focus of a nation wide campaign aimed to reduce drunk driving and driver impaired related accidents. This program goes into effect nation wide from August 13 to September 1 2014. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) want to reduce the preventable crime of drunk driving and save lives.
How will the Drunk Driving Crack Down Work?
- Increasing State Enforcement efforts: Added police units and patrols
- Raising Public Awareness: Media Adds, Signs, and highly visible kick-off events
- Use of Sobriety Check Points: Placed where they will be most effective
- The No Refusal Program: Allows law enforcement to quickly obtain a warrant for a blood sample from drivers suspected of being impaired, if they refuse a breathalyzer test
Why is the NHTSA Focusing on Labor Day Weekend?
- The reason for this campaign is clear. In 2012 there were 147 drunk-driving fatalities during the Labor Day Weekend.
- The NHTSA says, “throughout the year someone is killed in an alcohol-impaired-driving crash every 51 minutes, on average”. Additionally, one in three traffic fatalities are in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.
- A highly visible show of enforcement can reduce drunk-driving fatalities by up to 20 percent.
- Of the 390 people killed in traffic crashes over Labor Day weekend in 2012, one in four were in crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .15 or higher –that’s almost double the legal limit nationwide.
- More than three-fourths (76%) of all drunk-driving fatalities over Labor Day weekend 2012 occurred between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.
- Young drivers from 18 to 34 years old are over represented in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes, especially over the Labor Day holiday. That weekend in 2012, 48 percent of young drivers killed in crashes were drunk. In every state, it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, and it’s illegal for anyone under 21 to drink at all.
*Statistics from nhtsa.gov
Additional Info About the Campaign
Most areas will have sobriety check points during the Labor Day weekend. Law Enforcement will be placing check points in highly visible areas and in places where crashes often happen. In addition, this campaign will include the No Refusal program. This will allow law enforcement to quickly obtain a warrant for a blood sample from drivers suspected of being impaired, if they refuse a breathalyzer test. The NHTSA is trying to highly publicize No Refusal to try and decrease the amount of impaired drivers during the Labor Day weekend.
SAFETY TIPS FOR DRIVERS AND PASSENGERS
The NHTSA has provided safety tips to help drivers and passengers stay safe this Labor Day weekend—and all year long.
- Plan a safe way home before you start the Labor Day festivities.
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver. If you wait until you’re impaired, you’re more likely to make a bad decision.
- If you’ve been drinking, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
- Use your community’s sober ride program.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement immediately. You could save a life.
- If you know someone who is about to operate a motorcycle or drive while drunk, be a true friend and take their keys. Help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
For more information on the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, please visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.
You can expect more of these campaigns to continue in the future. Be sure to read more of our Safe Driving Tips and stay current on Tennessee State Driving Laws.
In the event you are in an auto accident, be sure to have a car wreck plan in place and know what to do before it happens.