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The original item was published from 8/21/2023 11:17:38 AM to 9/10/2023 12:00:01 AM.

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Police Department

Posted on: August 21, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB) is working alongside law enforcement during the weeks leading up to, and including, the Labor Day holiday in support of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over high-visibility enforcement drunk-driving prevention campaign. Law enforcement will be expanding their efforts with zero tolerance for impaired driving. The goal is to save lives during what is usually a dangerous holiday on our nation’s roads. As you celebrate the summer slowdown this year, keep these statistics in mind:

Labor Day Statistics

  • During the 2021 Labor Day holiday period, there were 531 crash fatalities nationwide. Of these 531 traffic crash fatalities, 216 (41%) involved a drunk driver, and 27% involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the legal limit (.15+ BAC).
  • Among drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 who were killed in crashes over the Labor Day holiday period in 2021, 46% of those drivers were drunk, with BACs of .08 or higher. 
  • Historically, the summer months tend to be more dangerous on the roads. In August 2021, drunk driving accounted for 31% of traffic crash fatalities. 
  • Last year in Iowa, during the final weeks of summer (August 1-September 4, 2022), there were 40 traffic fatalities; according to the IDOT Preliminary Holiday Traffic Fatality Data - NHTSA, 30% of those fatalities were alcohol/drug related.

Sobering Statistics

  • Approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers (with BACs at or above .08 g/dL). In 2021, there were 13,384 people killed in drunk-driving crashes.
  • Nationally, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 g/dL or higher, except in Utah, where the limit is .05 g/dL. 
  • Although it’s illegal to drive when impaired by alcohol, in 2021 one person was killed every 39 minutes in a drunk-driving crash on our nation’s roads.
  • The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2021 was 2.8 times higher at night than during the day.
  • Males are more likely than females to be driving drunk when involved in fatal crashes. In 2021, 22% of males were drunk, compared to 17% of females.

The Cost of Drunk Driving

  • The average OWI costs $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, and more.
  • The financial impact from impaired-driving crashes is devastating. Based on 2019 data (the most recent year for which cost data is available), impaired-driving crashes cost the United States $58 billion annually.
  • If you’re caught drinking and driving, you can face jail time. That arrest will follow you for many years to come.  
  • Drinking and driving can cause you to lose your driver’s license and your vehicle. This could prevent you from getting to work, resulting in lost wages and, potentially, job loss.

Plan Ahead for a Safe Celebration

  • Always drive 100% sober. Even one alcoholic beverage could be one too many.  
  • Plan ahead: Before you have even one drink, designate a sober driver to get you home safely. If you wait until you’ve been drinking to make this decision, you might not make the best one. 
  • You have options to get home safely: designate a sober driver or call a taxi or rideshare. Getting home safely is always worth it. 
  • If it’s your turn to be the designated driver, take your job seriously and don’t drink. 
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact law enforcement.
  • If you have a friend who is about to drink and drive, take the keys away and let a sober driver get your friend home safely.

Power to Arrive in Your Hands Graphic

For more information about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement period, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/drunk-driving/national-mobilization/peak-enforcement-kit.

For more information, please contact Police Chief Michael Tupper by calling 641.754.5771 or via email at mtupper@marshalltown-ia.gov.

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