From August 16 through Labor Day, police will be out in force as part of the annual nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown on drunk driving.
The effective nationwide drunk driving crackdown will include high-visibility enforcement, high-profile events, and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb drunk driving in August and through the Labor Day holiday weekend.
Although it is illegal in all 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive drunk (having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher), far too many people across the nation get behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol. The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration underscore the serious nature of the nation’s continuing drunk driving epidemic.
Every year, about one third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more drunk drivers or motorcycle operators. In 2011 9,878 people died in crashes involving drunk drivers. That works out to approximately one drunk driving fatality every 53 minutes.
During the Labor Day weekend in 2011, a total of 138 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drivers or motorcycle riders with BACs of .08 g/dL or higher. Of those fatalities, 83 percent occurred during early evening and overnight, from 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.
Drunk driving takes a particularly heavy toll among young drivers. Among 18- to 34-year-old drivers killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes during the 2011 Labor Day weekend, 42 percent were alcohol-impaired.
Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign reduces drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.