Safety is always DOT's first priority. This morning, joined by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) President Laura Dean-Mooney and Fairfax County Police Captain Susan Culin, I was proud to help kick-off the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and MADD 6th annual end-of-summer enforcement campaign against impaired driving, "Drunk Driving: Over the Limit, Under Arrest."
The message has to get out: Impaired driving is a crime, and it will not be tolerated.
These drivers are really "a common threat," as Captain Culin said today--to drivers, to passengers, to bystanders, and to the loving survivors left behind by the nearly 12,000 fatalities each year caused by impaired drivers.
Now, impaired driving is an issue that cuts across all segments of society but, sadly, as Laura Dean-Mooney and I noted today, the number of arrests of women driving under the influence is on the rise.
As we head into the last weeks of summer and Labor Day weekend, millions of American families will hop in their cars and head off to the beach, the lake, the mountains, the park, and elsewhere for some
late-summer fun. Wherever your vacation plans take you, we want you to arrive safely.
But, to hear that impaired driving caused 40% of all fatal crashes last Labor Day weekend--it's very, very disturbing. So, we’re putting all drivers on notice that between August 21st and September 7th, our annual late-summer enforcement crackdown on impaired drivers will be in full force.
All around the country, 11,000 police departments and other law enforcement agencies will redouble their efforts to ensure that impaired drivers are detected and arrested during this high-risk travel season.
This is the sixth year in a row that the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration has worked with state and local law enforcement agencies and MADD to spread the message around Labor Day that if you’re “over the limit, you’re under arrest.”
This is a matter of life and death. We take it very seriously. And we’re very grateful to the law enforcement community and MADD for their support and hard work over the years.
So, please: Drive safely. Stay sober behind the wheel. And enjoy the last weeks of summer with your loved ones.