Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign 2016: Putting a Stop to Drunk Driving Accidents

It’s that time of the year again when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launches its Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign. This year it runs from August 17th to September 5th.

A wise person once told me that " failure is making a few poor decisions each and every day". Nothing could be more true when it comes to decisions about drinking and driving. Often times, it may be the last decision one makes.

However it not just one bad decision that causes a drunk driving accident but rather several. First one decides to go to an event without a designated driver. Then one decides to imbide too much alcohol. Finally one makes the poor judgment to drink and drive rather than call a taxi, find a designated driver, or stay over at the location/event they were at. Therefore in order to be successful in combating drunk driving one cannot use a one prong approach but rather one needs to address the range of conditions that influence drinking and driving decisions.

Consider these statistics:

Drunk driving is a deadly epidemic that takes the lives of more than 10,000 people each year, on average. Law enforcement in every state and most U.S. towns and cities are cracking down on drunk driving.(1)

There were 351 motor vehicle-related fatalities in Massachusetts in 2013.
Thirty-six percent of these deaths involved alcohol-impaired driving where the BAC (blood alcohol content) of a driver was .08 or higher.(2)

So many tragedies have resulted from people who drive drunk--traumatic injuries and fatalities year after year. On September 5, 1980, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) was incorporated and has, for decades now, lobbied for increased awareness and legislation to make our roads safer from drunk drivers.

Next time it could be you. Despite all the warnings, public awareness and educational programs, stiffer penalties for violations, and efforts by law enforcement agencies across the nation to be more visible and diligent in protecting the highways, people will still get behind the wheel of their vehicles while intoxicated. (4)

The best measure to stop drunk driving is to first ensure you are not the drunk driver. Make smart choices. Next, if you see someone who has imbibed too much, take their car keys, help them arrange a safer method of transportation home, do not let them get behind the wheel. Let’s all do our part.

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The Injury Law Center® has been helping those injured in drunk driving accidents for decades and have seen first-hand the devastating effects of these often high impact accidents. Many of our cases involve drunk drivers who cross the yellow line and collide with our client’s vehicles head on. This impact causes substantial and often permanent injuries to our clients. If we continue to all drunk drivers to use our roads, we are all at risk of such tragic accidents. Any one of us could be next.

In one case, our clients had stopped by the side of the highway to change a flat tire. A drunk driver lost control and slammed into their vehicle, killing one person instantly, sending the second person flying over the car causing substantial and permanent injuries, and injuring the third passenger. In addition to the physical toll this took on our clients, our clients also suffered the emotional toll of watching their friend die on the side of the roadway. Further, the drunk driver did not stop but continued down the road in a haphazard fashion causing more damage before the driver was ultimately stopped by the police.

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References

(1) http://www.nhtsa.gov/drivesober/

(2) http://www.mass.gov/eopss/crime-prev-personal-sfty/traffic-safety/dsgpo.html

(4) https://www.verywell.com/drunk-driving-the-dangers-63002

(7) http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/outreach/traftech/1995/TT094.htm

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