Summer Crackdown on Impaired Driving
August 10, 2011
“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”
August 19 through September 5 are the dates for this year’s national law enforcement crackdown on Impaired Driving. The enhanced enforcement period extends through the Labor Day holiday.
National advertising will focus on the theme of “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” This campaign centers on law enforcement agencies’ vigorous enforcement of drunk driving laws.
It’s during these crackdowns that the public can expect every law enforcement agency in the state, including Sheriff’s Departments and State Highway Patrols, to be participating in the hunt for and prosecution of impaired drivers.
The problem of impaired driving is a serious one. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows the number of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in America fell from 2008 to 2009, but the numbers are still too high.
Drunk driving remains the leading killer of all motorists. Approximately 32% of all road fatalities are because someone was driving drunk or under the influence of drugs. In 2009 alone, 10,839 people died in crashes in which a driver or motorcycle rider was at or above the legal limit, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The age group with the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes was the 21-to-34 age group.
Participants in the Richland County Safe Communities Coalition who are not members of the law enforcement community will use the “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” message to attempt to positively influence the drinking and driving problem. Focusing on the social aspect of impaired driving rather than the criminal aspect, it serves to remind vehicle operators (including motorcycle users) that no good can come of drinking and driving.
In addition to an arrest, violators often face jail time and loss of their license. Insurance rates go up. Other financial hits include attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job or job prospects. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators can also face tremendous personal embarrassment and humiliation. And then there is the possibility of living with the results of a crash, injury, or fatality that you may have caused.
The Richland County Safe Communities Coalition reminds everyone that if you are going to a summer party and do end up drinking alcohol, remember:
• Give your keys to a sober driver
• Have a designated sober driver before the evening begins
• Sleep it off where you are or call a cab.
For more information, visit the High-Visibility Enforcement Campaign Headquarters at www.StopImpairedDriving.org.
In honor of Public Health Week, the American Public Health Association has created a 2 minute video on Public Health's Retyurn on Investment. See it linked on the main page Welcome (below in the middle).