For many, the holidays are a time of giving, and one of the greatest gifts is sober driving.
Once again this holiday season, NHTSA is spreading the messages: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and If You Feel Different, You Drive Different — Drive High Get a DUI. The campaigns run from December 14 through January 1 and aims to educate people about the dangers and consequences of driving drunk and high, and that law enforcement will be stepping up patrols to get impaired drivers off the roads.
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
Drunk driving is a problem on our nation’s roads every day, but it’s more prevalent during the holidays. During the New Year’s and Christmas periods in 2020, there were 209 drunk-driving-related fatalities. These deaths were 100% preventable. In 2020, there were 11,654 people killed nationwide in drunk-driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third of the crash fatalities that year. The tragedy of these deaths is felt year-round, but for many, most strongly during the holidays.
If You Feel Different, You Drive Different — Drive High Get a DUI
Like drunk driving, drug-impaired driving is illegal in all 50 states. From 2019-2021, NHTSA conducted a study at several trauma centers and medical examiner offices involving drivers who were seriously injured or killed. The study found that about 26% of those drivers had active THC, which is found in marijuana, in their system. Whether the drug is obtained legally or illegally, drug-impaired driving can be deadly for drivers, passengers, and others on the road.
If you have a holiday gathering on your calendar, make smart choices and plan out how you’re going to get home safely once the celebration ends. If you are the designated driver, make a commitment to 100% sobriety to keep you and your friends safe. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement immediately. Doing so could save the life of the driver, passenger, and others on the road. And, if you have a friend who is about to drive impaired, take away their keys and help them make arrangements to get home safely — it will be the greatest gift you ever give them.
During the past few years, drivers are making riskier decisions when they're behind the wheel — including drinking and driving. As the year comes to a close and a new one begins, make it a point to drive sober every day.