From August 13 to September 1, law enforcement and highway safety advocates across the nation join forces for “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” a nationwide crackdown on drunk driving enforcement. The National Highway Traffic Administration created the campaign as a call to action for every citizen to help prevent drunk driving.
The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign takes place August 13 through labor day. The time period for this high-visibility crackdown was chosen strategically, since the holiday weekend typically shows increased rates of drunk driving. In 2012, 147 people were killed in alcohol-related car crashes over Labor Day weekend. Over this holiday, one person dies every 34 minutes.
Each year, more than 10,000 people die in drunk driving car crashes. Drunk driving can be easily prevented and will not be tolerated, which is a message the campaign hopes to spread. Past campaigns have successfully spread this message, resulting in a 20 percent decrease in alcohol related crashes, according to the NHTSA. Drunk driving is one of the deadliest and most common law enforcement issues:
- One in three traffic fatalities in the U.S. are alcohol-related
- Over Labor Day weekend 2012, one person was killed every 34 minutes in an alcohol-related crash
- Over that same holiday, 390 people died in traffic accidents. Of those accidents, 25 percent involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood-alcohol concentration of 1.5 o high, which is almost double the legal limit in all states.
- Of the drivers killed in traffic accidents over the Labor Day weekend 2012, about 41 percent of them were alcohol impaired.
- Young drivers age 18 to 34 make up a large percentage of alcohol-related traffic crashes, especially over the Labor Day weekend. In 2012, 48 percent of young drivers killed in traffic crashes were drunk.
The crackdown itself focuses on law-enforcement being extremely visible and vigilant to motorists, so that they know drunk driving is not an option and that drunk drivers will be arrested. High-visibility enforcement has been proven in the past to reduce drunk driving. Law enforcement agencies will have a variety of tools at hand to make the crackdown a success, including local and social media to get the word out, sobriety checkpoints where permitted, and other high-visibility enforcement efforts. The campaign also presents the following tips for staying safe and avoiding drunk driving this Labor Day holiday weekend:
- Plan a safe way to get home before you begin celebrating Labor Day.
- Designate a sober driver before you begin drinking. If you make the decision while alcohol impaired, you are more likely to make a bad decision.
- If you have been drinking, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member for a ride, or take public transportation.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, do your part by contacting local law enforcement right away. You could save someone’s life.
- If you know someone who is about to operate a vehicle while alcohol impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get home safely.