It's no secret that I love this season; anyone who's seen my holiday ties knows that. There is so much to celebrate at this time of year. But, because people are out celebrating in greater frequency--and often with alcohol--the holiday season can be an especially dangerous time on our nation’s roadways.
During the holidays, far too many people make the irresponsible and dangerous decision to drive after drinking.
That’s why this holiday season, more than 10,000 officers will be on the streets across the nation to enforce a simple safety message: “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
Although in 2011 we saw the lowest number of roadway deaths in six decades, we're still stuck with the fact that one in every three highway fatalities last year--9,878 in total--was alcohol-related. And in the last two weeks of December 2011 alone, 395 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes.
Each of these deaths is one too many, and it simply has to stop.
As NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said, "Personal responsibility is critical to improving roadway safety, and we urge all motorists to be responsible this holiday season and never, ever drive drunk.”
So, please, take Administrator Strickland's advice to heart by following these three suggestions:
- Plan ahead. If you will be drinking, don't drive. Arrange another safe way home.
- If you do get impaired, find another way home. Use a taxi; call a sober friend or family member; use public transportation; or contact your local sober ride program.
- Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, don't let that person get behind the wheel. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement as soon as you can.
Your actions may save someone’s life.
Why do I enjoy the holiday season so much? Because it's about family. And here at DOT, we want everyone to enjoy the holidays and get home safely to their families.