WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Deputy Administrator David Friedman today kicked off the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” holiday crackdown on drunk driving by unveiling a new mobile app to help people who have been drinking get a safe ride home. They also announced new data revealing a decline in drunk driving deaths in 2013.
The new data shows that drunk driving deaths declined by 2.5 percent in 2013. Yet, even with this decrease from the previous year, 10,076 people died in crashes involving a drunk driver in 2013—one death every 52 minutes. December 2013 was the month with the lowest number of drunk driving fatalities, 733 lives lost.
“We will continue to be relentless in our effort to curb drunk driving because each life is precious,” said Secretary Foxx. “Too many lives are still being cut far too short because of drunk driving. We can stop these tragedies by making the decision not to allow ourselves or our loved ones to get behind the wheel after drinking.”
NHTSA’s new SaferRide app will help keep drunk drivers off our roads by allowing users to call a taxi or a friend and by identifying their location so they can be picked up. The app is available starting today for Android devices on Google Play.
“We’re making progress in the fight against drunk driving by working with law enforcement and our safety partners, and by arming people with useful tools, such as our new SaferRide app,” said Deputy Administrator Friedman. “This holiday season, don’t make the selfish and deadly choice to drink and drive.”
This year’s crackdown starts on December 15 and continues until January 1, 2015. During this period, more than 10,000 participating police departments and law enforcement agencies will be out in force to protect the public and get drunk drivers off our roads. These efforts are supported by an $8 million dollar U.S. DOT national advertising campaign conveying NHTSA’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over message.
Secretary Foxx and Administrator Friedman were joined by representatives from local law enforcement agencies, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) National President Jan Withers, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) Vice Chairman John Saunders and Officer Jeremy Schenck, from Prince William County Police Department.
It is against the law in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to drive a vehicle while legally drunk, with a blood alcohol concentration BAC of .08 or higher. All states also prohibit anyone under the age of 21 to drink and to drive with any BAC in their system.