WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Safety Administration is warning all motorists traveling during the Labor Day holiday to ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’. Through September 5th, advertisements will appear nationwide and law enforcement agencies across the country will be on patrol to protect the public from impaired drivers.
“Drunk driving is against the law and puts lives at risk,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We are heading into a busy travel weekend, and reminding travelers to drive sober, or face the consequences of breaking the law.”
According to new data released by NHTSA this week, he nation lost 35,092 people in traffic crashes in 2015, ending a 5-decade trend of declining fatalities with a 7.2 percent increase in deaths from 2014.The data showed a 3.2 percent increase in drunk driving fatalities, resulting in 10,265 deaths in 2015, compared to 9,943, in 2014. The vast majority of drivers involved in these crashes were behind the wheel of a passenger car or SUV.t
In response to the increase, DOT, NHTSA, and the White House are issuing an unprecedented call to action to involve a wide range of stakeholders in helping determine the causes of the increase. NHTSA will share its Fatality Analysis Reporting System with safety partners, state and local officials, technologists, data scientists, and policy experts. And private sector partners using new data collection technologies will be offering access to unprecedented amounts of data and new visualizations tools.
“Every day drunk drivers get behind the wheel when they know they shouldn’t,” said NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind. “With all the modern conveniences available, there’s no excuse. Put the keys away and call a sober friend, hail a taxi, or take public transportation home.”
It is against the law in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico for adults over the age of 21 to drive a vehicle if you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. U.S. drivers can prevent drunk driving by following the law, planning a safe ride home, designating a sober driver or using NHTSA’s SaferRide app to call a taxi or a friend so they can be picked up. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store.