Taking a Stand Against Impaired Driving: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

It’s the wind down of summer, the time when we step back and reminisce on all that summer fun. However, this time of year also brings a sobering reality with  the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.  

The annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign aims to shine a spotlight on the dangers of drunk driving and promotes responsible choices. Accompanying the campaign each year is an arsenal of updated data, painting a vivid picture of the current landscape of drunk driving incidents. These statistics serve as a potent reminder that the fight against drunk driving is far from over, according to the most recently reported statistics from 2021. 

Labor Day’s Sobering Reality 

  • The 2021 Labor Day period sadly reported 531 crash fatalities across the U.S.  
  • A staggering 41% of these involved a drunk driver, with 27% involving a driver with a BAC nearly double the legal limit or higher. 
  • Among the 18-34 age group, 46% of drivers who met a fatal end had elevated BAC levels. 
  • Alcohol-impaired fatalities represent 38% of total traffic fatalities over Labor Day weekend. 

A Glimpse at Nationwide Statistics 

  • Roughly one-third of all U.S. traffic fatalities stem from drunk driving, translating to 13,384 tragic deaths in 2021. 
  • Even with clear legal BAC limits, a person was fatally injured every 39 minutes in a drunk driving-related crash in 2021. 
  • Nighttime saw a 2.8 times spike in alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal accidents. 
  • A gender-based glance reveals that 22% of males, compared to 17% of females, were intoxicated during fatal crashes. 

There are plenty of options to help impaired drivers get home safely, such as designating a sober driver or calling a taxi or rideshare. Remember, a few dollars spent on a ride home is a lot cheaper than a DUI, which can cost up to $10,000 due to court costs and fees in addition to endangering countless lives. Allowing a sober driver to help you get home safely keeps you and others safe. 

IIDs: A Game-Changer for Safer Roads 

Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) have emerged as a pivotal tool in combating drunk driving. First and foremost, these devices act as an immediate deterrent. Before the vehicle can even be started, drivers are mandated to take a breath test. If their Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) exceeds the preset threshold, the car simply won’t start, nipping the potential for drunk driving in the bud. Beyond mere deterrence, the beauty of IIDs lies in their rehabilitative nature. Instead of just penalizing offenders, these devices enable them to continue their daily routines, but with the stipulation of sobriety when driving, fostering a proactive change in behavior.  

As we gear up for Labor Day celebrations, let’s make responsible choices. Make a commitment to always drive sober. True change lies in our collective effort.