If you were out and about this holiday season, it’s very likely that you saw “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” signs on the roadways. The signs are part of a larger annual campaign waged by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to stop accidents and fatalities caused by drunk drivers over the December to early January holidays.
259 Lives Lost due to Drunk Driving Over the Holidays
The annual campaign is spurred by the fact that holidays on the roads can be deadly.
During the 2015 Christmas holiday period, from 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve through 5:59 a.m. on December 28, 120 people were killed by crashes involving drunk drivers. That equates to 34 deaths per day due to alcohol.
In last year’s New Year’s holiday, reported from 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to 5:59 a.m. on January 5, 2015, 139 people were killed by crashes involving intoxicated drivers. That equates to 31 deaths per day.
Altogether, 259 people were killed due to drivers impaired by alcohol during the holiday period.
In the year overall, 10,265 people were killed in crashes related to drunk driving. In 67% of these accidents, the drivers had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or above, almost twice the legal limit, which is 0.08. In all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, it is illegal to drive a car or other vehicle if your BAC exceeds 0.08.
Even sadder is the fact that these deaths are entirely preventable.
The NHTSA’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign focuses on preventing people who have had too much to drink from getting behind the wheel. People planning to go where drinks are available should either designate a sober driver or use the NHTSA’s SaferRide app, which will allow them to call a taxi or a friend to be picked up.
Funding for Vehicle Alcohol Detection System Announced
As part of its yearly “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” announcement, the NHTSA also directed attention to over $5 million in funding received for the U.S. and the state of Virginia to create and utilize a Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS). DADSS is a safety technology that passively detects driver BAC and does not require any activation or specific steps on the part of the driver.
DADSS will prevent drivers with a 0.08 BAC or higher from starting a vehicle.
Legal help for victims of drunk driving
If you or a loved one was injured by a drunk driver, whether over the holiday season or any other time, the law firm of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman P.C. can help.
New York and New Jersey laws again drunk driving are stringent. Not only can drunk drivers be fined and jailed, they may be mandated to install devices that stop inebriated people from turning on a vehicle’s ignition. You may be able to bring a claim against the driver for medical bills, lost time at work, and other costs related to the accident.
KGG auto accident attorneys have decades of experience securing fair compensation for victims of negligent and drunk drivers. Call us toll free at (800) 711-5258 or fill out the form on our website to schedule a free consultation in our Rockland County, NY or Bergen County, NJ offices.
Additional Drunk Driving Car Accident Resources:
- Chen, Aria Hangyu. “U.S. Has Highest Car Crash Death Rate, Despite Progress, CDC Says.” CNN. July 7, 2016. http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/07/health/us-highest-crash-death-rate/index.html.
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). FAQs: How to Spot a Drunk Driver. http://www.madd.org/drunk-driving/how-you-can-help/faq.html
- U.S. NHTSA. “U.S. DOT Urges Public to ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ and Announces Funding for Innovative Technology to End Drunk Driving.” NHTSA. https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/us-dot-urges-public-%E2%80%98drive-sober-or-get-pulled-over%E2%80%99-and-announces-funding-innovative