Message from NHTSA: “Drinking and Driving This Holiday Season Could Lead to a Gift of Time…Behind Bars”
As you celebrate the holiday season enjoying traditions, food, family and fun, be reminded that Local Law Enforcement Teams will be out in force this holiday season from December 16, 2011, to January 2, 2012, to arrest anyone caught driving drunk behind the wheel.
The message is simple, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Drinking alcohol and driving do not mix. If you plan to consume alcohol, you should also plan not to get behind the wheel of a vehicle or ride a motorcycle.
Unfortunately millions of drivers on America’s highways still think they are invincible, and they choose to jeopardize their safety and the safety of others on our roads:
- Alcohol-impaired driving is a deadly crime that is especially common among young males 21 to 34 years old.
- During the holiday season, many adults celebrate and enjoy themselves with a couple of drinks, but even one too many increases the risk of a crash while driving a motor vehicle.
- During December 2009, there were 753 people killed in traffic crashes that involved drivers or motorcycle riders with blood alcohol concentrations of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.
There will be no spreading holiday cheer behind the bars of a jail cell. Don’t let your 2011 holiday season end in an arrest or worse, death. Also, consider these costs:
- Not only do you risk killing or injuring yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be significant.
- Drunk driving violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, 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.
- Don’t let your 2011 end with an arrest. Plan before you go out, and remember, whether you’ve had way too many or just one too many, it’s just not worth the risk.
- Refusing to take a sobriety test in many jurisdictions may result in the loss of your license on the spot and enhanced penalties, not to mention that having to inform family, friends, and your employer that you lost your license will add to your embarrassment and humiliation.
Remember, whether you’ve had way too many or just one too many, it’s not worth the risk.
You may want to consider these simple tips for a safe holiday season:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home;
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
- Identify and be ready to use/recommend any available community sober ride programs;
- If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement; and
- Remember, Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take that person’s keys and help him or her make other arrangements to get home safely.
Even if you don’t plan on drinking (at all), your friends may, and you can help them realize the risks before it’s too late. Don’t be bashful in sharing this information around your social network!
SafetyFirst would like to thank NHTSA for providing these talking points and reminders that traffic safety is EVERYONE’s responsibility — not just the “other guy”.