NHTSA Recently Kicked Off Its Multi-Million Dollar Campaign to Deter Impaired Driving
According to a recent press release, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has kicked off its annual effort to deter impaired driving during Labor Day weekend. Police departments across the country are teaming up using high-visibility enforcement, saturation patrols, DUI checkpoints, and other efforts to help keep everyone safe this holiday. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over high-visibility enforcement campaign lasts from August 19 to September 7.
As noted in the release, in 2018 there were over 10,500 traffic fatalities that involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of over 0.08 percent. Fatal motor vehicle crashes involving an impaired driver in 2018 accounted for nearly 30 percent of the total traffic fatalities. An estimated two-thirds of those fatal traffic accidents involved a driver with a BAC of .15 or higher.
Labor Day Weekend is a notoriously dangerous holiday for motorists. NHTSA hopes to remind drivers that impaired driving does not just involve alcohol. Impaired driving can involve any substance that impairs your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, illegal drugs, and marijuana.
This year NHTSA put $10 million into a comprehensive advertising campaign to help raise awareness in all 50 states. Individual law enforcement agencies have been given assistance in running local campaigns to target impaired driving, speeding, and illegal street racing. Many police departments are working together to get the most out of these efforts. U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao reminds everyone that fatal traffic accidents involving an impaired driver are “completely preventable tragedies.”
Law enforcement will be on high alert throughout the holiday weekend to ensure that people are getting around safely and preventing impaired drivers from turning the festivities into a tragedy.