Header for US Department of Transportation Blog

You are here

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Nearly 10,000 people are dying each year.

That’s 27 people a day.

One person every 53 minutes.

What’s killing so many Americans?  It’s a choice. A choice made by someone who drank too much and got behind the wheel. 

Graphic of airplanes stating Each year nearly 10,000 people die on our roadways due to drunk driving. That would equal 20 jumbo jets crashing each year.

Drunk driving is one of the most serious dangers we face on our roadways.  It’s a deadly crime that comes at a devastating cost – destroying lives, and tearing families and communities apart.  

In 2011, more than 6,500 drunk drivers were killed in crashes. That’s 6,500 families who lost a loved one – a father, a mother, a sibling, or a child – because of a terrible choice.

But that doesn’t tell the whole story.  It doesn’t tell the story of the innocent victims lost because someone else made the choice to drive drunk.

According to NHTSA data, more than one-third of those killed in drunk driving crashes are not the drunk driver:

  • More than 1,600 victims of drunk driving crashes were passengers in a drunk driver’s vehicle.  They are children sitting in the back seat.  They are loved ones and friends sitting next to the driver.  They are people who trusted and cared for the person who had too much to drink before getting behind the wheel.
  • More than 1,000 victims were motorists in other vehicles going about their daily lives – a trip to the movies or a ride home from a baseball game cut short just because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • And more than 700 victims involved in a crash with a drunk driver were pedestrians or bicyclists – kids playing outside and folks who may have been walking or cycling for their health.

Drunk driving is dangerous; it’s illegal and often deadly.  We know it.  You know it.  And that’s why DOT is proud to partner with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Governors Highway Safety Association, and law enforcement officials across the country for our annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown on drunk drivers. 

Secretary Foxx speaking at drive sober

This national advertising campaign sends the message that law enforcement officers are vigilant to the signs of drunk driving and committed to enforcement.  Our law enforcement officers put themselves at risk to protect us all but safety really begins with you.

It’s up to us as drivers to not get behind the wheel when we’ve been drinking.  It’s up to us as passengers to not get in the car with someone who’s been drinking. And it’s up to us as friends to not let our family, friends, or neighbors get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking.  

Anthony Foxx is the 17th U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

Post new comment

Submit Feedback >