This time of year, with all the holiday parties and festive occasions, many partygoers will be drinking. If you’re celebrating with alcohol this holiday season, federal, state, and local law enforcement has a message for you: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Due to the increase in drunk-driving-related fatalities around the holidays each year, law enforcement agencies across region will be out in force now through January 1, 2017—actively searching for drunk drivers. The facts are grim: in December 2015 there were 94 fatal crashes in Ohio involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher; 13 of those deaths occurred on Christmas Day. On average, a third (31%) of all crash fatalities in America involves drunk driving.
“It’s time for all drivers to get the message,” said Sgt. Jeff Kramer of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, “that drunk driving isn’t a victimless crime. You could kill yourself or someone else, or get a DUI and go to jail.” It’s illegal in every state to drive over the limit of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL). And it might not take as much alcohol as you think to get there. So the safest approach is to only drive sober. If you plan on drinking at a holiday party, bar, or restaurant, let someone else do the driving – a sober friend, a taxi or public transportation.
As part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign period, police will be increasing the number of patrols, setting up roadblocks, and using local media to reach all drivers. There are many ways to get home safely after drinking. Designate a sober driver ahead of time, or call a friend or family member
In addition to reminding all drivers to drive sober, David Garcia Manger of the Injury Prevention Center at Miami Valley Hospital is calling on everyone to be alert. If you see a drunk driver on the road, call the police right away—you could save a life. If someone you know is about to drive after drinking, take their keys and help them get home safely. “We’ve got to work together to make our roads safer this December and year-round,” David said.
Dayton area drivers, should follow these tips to keep the holidays safe and happy:
• Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk—or worse, the risk of having a crash.
• If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Plan ahead; designate a sober driver before the party begins.
• If you have been drinking, do not drive. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, use public transportation or Arrive safe.