With the holidays so much on everyone’s mind for the next couple of weeks, it’s time for a reminder that having a bit too much cheer or too much beer before getting behind the wheel could land you in a much worse spot: jail.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, kicking off the annual holiday crackdown Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, said that the Department of Transportation is “stepping up our efforts to get drunk drivers off our roads…We’re making gains in our fight against drunk driving, but we cannot and will not let up.”
The Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) urges motorists to exercise good judgment at this time of the year, especially in the December 16 through January 1 holiday period. That’s when member state agencies will be enforcing the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over effort to curb drunk driving.
It’s more than just a publicity campaign. Barbara Harsha, GHSA executive director, warns, “Any person who considers drinking and driving should know that police are out in full force watching for them. The time for warnings has long passed. If you drive drunk this holiday period, there will be consequences.”
Research data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that during the latter half of December 2010, 415 people were killed in traffic accidents involving a drunk driver or motorcycle rider. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety cautions that January 1 is one of the top five deadliest holidays of the year.
What types of enforcement efforts are states planning? Each state has holiday crackdown activities ready to go, including targeted media campaigns to spread awareness, and enforcement efforts that include DUI or sobriety checkpoints, saturation and line patrols, patrolling “hot spots” and supporting organizations with designated driver programs, taxi programs and tow programs.
For a listing of specific state activities during the holiday crackdown period, click here.