Labor Day weekend is coming up. For many Americans, that means an extra day off, backyard and beach barbecues, visiting friends and family, and the unofficial end of the summer season. Unfortunately, it also means a sharp increase in drunk-driving-related fatalities.
Starting now and continuing through September 1, 2014, law enforcement officers will be aggressively targeting drunk and drugged drivers as part of a nationwide effort to end impaired driving and save lives. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will pair increased public awareness with high-visibility enforcement on county streets, road and freeways.
The Avoid the 25 anti-DUI task force will be aggressively looking for impaired drivers throughout the region with plans in place for a DUI/Drivers license checkpoint in Lafayette on August 22, 2014. Additionally, other operations in Contra Costa include a multi-agency strike team, local roving anti-DUI Saturation Patrols, a DUI warrant/probation sweep and a DUI court sting targeting suspended drivers who were ordered by a judge not to drive.
In 2012, there were 10,322 people killed in drunk-driving crashes in the United States. Over Labor Day weekend that year, 147 lost their lives to a drunk driver, more than a third (38%) of all traffic fatalities that weekend. Out of all the crash fatalities that weekend, one in four were attributed to drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .15 percent or higher – almost twice the legal limit in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Every 51 minutes, someone is killed in a drunk-driving crash. Over the Labor Day weekend, those fatalities increase to one every 34 minutes. Night time is especially dangerous; almost half (46%) of the fatalities in night time crashes over the Labor Day weekend involved a driver with a BAC of .08 or higher, compared to 25% in daytime fatal crashes.
This Labor Day weekend don’t let the festivities turn into fatalities. Remember that, aside from the obvious risks of killing yourself or someone else, driving impaired can also lead to serious punitive consequences. A DUI arrest can mean time in jail, loss of your license, and steep financial expenses; the average DUI can cost up to $10,000.
The Avoid the 25 anti-DUI task force funding is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which reminds everyone to – Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1.
The Office of Traffic Safety is offering a free mobile app – DDVIPCA.COM – aimed at thanking sober designated drivers with perks and free offers.