The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign has officially launched across the US.
Running December 13-31 December 2018 and involving law enforcement from states across the nation, the campaign’s aim is to get drunk drivers off the roads to save lives.
One participating state is Wisconsin. Here, law enforcement agencies will patrol in greater numbers for longer hours during the holiday campaign.
“The goal of this federal, state and local initiative is to prevent needless tragedies along our roadways and help ensure that everyone has a safe, enjoyable holiday season,” said WisDOT Secretary Dave Ross. “We appreciate all those who will be working over the holidays to serve and protect the public. Motorists can do their part by buckling up, watching their speed and being patient and alert every trip.”
According to NHTSA, 10,874 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2017, equating to one person killed every 48 minutes. On average, 10,000 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes each year from 2013 to 2017. That’s the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors. In December 2017, alone, 885 people lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver.
Drunk driving isn’t the only risk on the road: Drug-impaired driving is also an increasing problem on our nation’s roads. 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.
Planning for a sober ride
The NHTSA’s top tip is to plan ahead. Be honest with yourself: You know whether you’ll attend a party. If you plan to drink, plan for a sober driver to take you home. Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take that role seriously—your friends are relying on you. 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 or a ride service to get home safely.
- 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 or a ride service to get home safely.
- Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android devices: (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nhtsa.SaferRide&hl=en), and Apple’s iTunes Store for iOS devices: (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saferride/id950774008?mt=8). 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 your community’s sober ride program.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.
- Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.