Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you won’t get to see your favorite movies in 3-D anymore! The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has designated December as National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. Additionally, November 29th through January 3rd, 2011, is known as “Holiday Season Impaired Driving Prevention” time. This season, NHTSA, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), and the Governors Highway Safety Association, are reminding all drivers to keep the party off the road.
Impaired driving is one of America’s most-often-committed and deadliest crimes! In 2009, 753 people were killed in traffic crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle rider (operator) with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Another eight per cent of the population also admitted to riding in a vehicle with a driver who they thought had had too much to drink. Although many people have gotten the message loud and clear, there are still millions that just don’t understand that alcohol or drugs and driving just don’t mix – they are a deadly combination!
Unfortunately, a little holiday cheer can sometimes go a long way. We all enjoy the holiday saying of “eat, drink, and be merry,” but when partying affects the driver, it can turn a happy time into a nightmare. Impaired drivers don’t plan ahead and wind up causing unsafe roads for everyone. Here are some simple tips to avoid a drunk driving disaster (from NHTSA):
- Before the festivities begin, plan a safe way home;
- Designate a sober driver, before drinking;
- Use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation if you are impaired, so you can get home safely;
- Don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement if you happen to see a drunk driver on the road; (you could save someone’s life);
- If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely. Remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk!
Drunk driving has serious consequences. You not only risk killing or injuring yourself or someone else, but also the trauma and costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be significant. Violators often face jail time, loss of driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and other expenses including attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work. Plan before you go out, and remember, whether you’ve had way too many or just one too many, it’s just not worth taking the chance. Don’t let your 2010 end with an arrest, or worse!