This holiday season, the SAFE Coalition is teaming up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind all drivers that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving and to always plan a sober ride before the holiday parties begin. Too many people take to the roadways after consuming alcohol because they think they are “okay to drive.” During the holiday season, festive parties and celebrations with alcohol contribute to the number of impaired drivers on our roadways.
We want to keep our roads safe this holiday season and help people understand that the only time they should be behind the wheel is when they are sober. Alcohol affects people differently, and you don’t have to be feeling or acting drunk to be too impaired to drive. Any consumption of alcohol can impair your judgment and reaction times, making it unsafe for you to drive. Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving is a nationwide impaired driving campaign to inform all Americans about the dangers of driving after drinking.
Drunk driving kills thousands of people in our country every year. In 2015, 35,092 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes on our roadways, and 29 percent (10,265) died in crashes that involved a driver with a blood-alcohol concentration over the legal limit of .08. This time of year is especially dangerous. In December 2015 alone, there were 840 people killed in crashes involving at least one drunk driver or motorcycle operator.
Drinking and driving should never mix, therefore we want everyone to plan a sober ride in advance if they will be celebrating the holidays with alcohol. Don’t allow yourself to become a statistic because you failed to plan ahead. This holiday season, the SAFE Coalition and NHTSA urge you to designate a sober driver before you start drinking. If you plan on drinking at all, plan not to drive.
Remember these tips to avoid a DUI and to keep our roads safe:
· Even one drink can impair your judgment and reaction time and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk or causing a crash.
· If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Plan ahead - designate a sober driver before the party begins.
· If you have been drinking, do not drive—even a short distance. Call a sober friend or family member. Also, try NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, which allows users to call a friend and identify their location so they can be picked up.
· Help others be responsible. If you see someone you think is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and then take them home, or help them arrange a safe ride home.
· If you see a driver on the road that appears to be intoxicated, contact police when it is safe to do so. Your actions could help save a life.