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National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month has been recognized during the month of December for years. December was chosen for what more recently has been called National Impaired Driving Prevention Month due to the increase in travel and impaired driving each year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. As the holiday party season approaches, agencies are working together to keep the roads safe. ADECA’s Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety Division and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are coordinating a yearly campaign to target impaired drivers and to prevent drunk or drugged driving. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will run 12/13/19-1/1/20.
The campaign focuses on a constant police presence with the goal of preventing people from drinking and driving. Law enforcement agencies will schedule additional officers to increase roadway patrol efforts and to conduct checkpoints for seat belt usage and impaired drivers. The U.S. DOT is gearing up to spend about $8 million on the campaign. This is above the amount already budgeted and spent during this time period. The funds will help to cover things like additional expenses such as overtime pay incurred by agencies and nationwide advertising to spread the message.
Motorists will hopefully think before they drink since additional funds are being spent on advertising to remind motorists of the dangers of driving impaired. If you see a driver that appears to be impaired, call 911 or contact local law enforcement. Extra pairs of eyes on the road will hopefully help to prevent tragedy.
Everyone should have a plan to get home safely BEFORE deciding to drink. Driving under the influence of drugs is also illegal and dangerous. Make sure you understand the effects of even prescription or over-the-counter medication as many drugs have the potential of affecting your ability to drive safely. If you feel different, you drive different. For those people that are not using alcohol or drugs but must pass through annoying checkpoints, just remember that these stops help to save lives. Your cooperation during these stops helps to keep things running well.
Spread the news of this campaign like you share those funny memes! Remind your friends and family of the importance of driving sober. Raising awareness for safe driving is an important job we can all help with. The holiday season is merry and bright…until you look at drunk driving statistics during this time. According to the NHTSA, 839 people lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver in December 2018. Smart Start of Alabama is always ready with information about how we can help keep the roads safe. Call (866) 447-8686 or contact us online for more information.
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