Skip to main content

U.S. DOT Urges Drivers This Holiday Season to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”

| Washington, DC

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has kicked off its annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over holiday campaign to raise public awareness of the dangers of drunk driving on U.S. roads. NHTSA released new TV advertisements and 360-degree virtual reality web experience that takes viewers into the scene of a drunk driving crash.

“December is a busy time on our nation’s roads and we want people to travel safely,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “We’re urging everyone to drive sober and plan a safe ride home before drinking at holiday celebrations and gatherings.” 

New Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over TV advertisements will begin airing nationwide. The spot is called “No Big Deal,” and opens on a nighttime scene of a police officer at the scene of a crash. A haze of smoke emanating from a burning car, paramedics tending to an injured person in an ambulance, and then a shot of a forlorn man sitting in the back of a police cruiser. A voiceover intones, “You knew the risks when you decided to drive drunk. But you didn’t think about that. People could get hurt or killed. You can get arrested. But one thing’s for sure. You were wrong when you said it was no big deal. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” 

The ad is accompanied by a 360-degree virtual reality web experience where the user is virtually transported to the scene of a drunk driving crash and interacts with victims, police, and EMTs. 


Nationally, over the past 5 years, an average of 300 people died in drunk driving crashes the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. In 2016, 781 people lost their lives in drunk-driving-related crashes in the month of December alone. About one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders according to NHTSA fatality data.

“This holiday season we’re reminding all motorists to drive sober, safely and responsibly,” said Heidi King, NHTSA Deputy Administrator. “Our law enforcement partners across the country will be on patrol to help protect the public from drunk drivers. Please help spread the word: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

Americans can reduce the toll of drunk driving by never drinking and driving, by planning a safe ride home and designating a sober driver, or using NHTSA’s SaferRide app to call a taxi or a friend to be picked up. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store.

Stay connected with NHTSA: Search for open recalls with| Download the Safercar Mobile App for Apple or Android devices | Receive recall alerts by email | Visit us on | Follow us on | Watch 5-Star Safety Ratings crash tests on 

More in Drunk Driving Drug-Impaired Driving