This Labor Day weekend, families and friends will be celebrating the end of the summer. Sadly, this festive time has also become a dangerous time for America’s roads, as many drunk drivers get behind the wheel after celebrating. For this reason, the Fresno and Madera County DUI Task Force is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to stop drunk drivers and help save lives. The high-visibility national enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, runs through Sept. 5.
During this period, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for drunk driving. Increased national messaging about the dangers of driving drunk, coupled with sobriety checkpoints and increased officers working DUI Saturation Patrols on the road, aim to drastically reduce drunk driving on our nation’s roads.
The AVOID the 21 will deploy DUI/Drivers License checkpoints and DUI Saturation Patrols throughout the enforcement period to stop and arrest alcohol and drug impaired drivers. Sheriff and the CHP routine patrols will be on looking for the tale-tell sign of drunk driving in order to stop and arrest impaired drivers.
According to NHSTA, on average, over 10,000 people die each year (2010 to 2014) in drunk-driving crashes nationwide while California recorded 882 deaths. During the 2014 Labor Day holiday weekend, 40% of the fatalities in traffic crashes involved drunk drivers, which was the highest percentage over the five years 2010 to 2014.
And nighttime proves to be the most dangerous time to be out on the roads. During the 2014 Labor Day holiday period, 83% of drunk-driving crash fatalities occurred between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. - as compared to half of all drunk-driving crash fatalities throughout the rest of that year.
Additionally, 40% of crash fatalities on Labor Day weekend in 2014 involved drunk drivers (with blood alcohol concentrations [BACs] of .08 or higher), amounting to 162 lives lost nationwide and 20 in California. More than a quarter (28o/o) of the crash fatalities that occurred on Labor Day weekend involved drivers with BACs of .15 or higher almost twice the illegal limit.
Of the 9,967 people who were killed in impaired-driving crashes in 2014, 64% were the drunk drivers themselves. Those 6,391 drunk drivers thought they would make it to their destinations, but they didn’t.
This Labor Day, remember: drive sober or get pulled over.
Avoid the 21