Organizations share a message on the dangers of drunk driving

(Dover, Ohio) – This holiday season, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is partnering with Safe Communities and the Tuscarawas County Health Department to share the message about the dangers of drunk driving.

From December 18, 2020, through January 1, 2021, local law enforcement will participate in the high-visibility national enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. During this period, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for drunk driving. Increased state and national messages about the dangers of driving impaired, coupled with enforcement and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce drunk driving on our nation’s roadways.

Sadly, the statistics prove that we have a lot of work to do to put an end to drunk driving. According to NHTSA, 10,511 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2018. On average, more than 10,000 people were killed each year from 2014 to 2018 — one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 50 minutes in 2018. This is why Safe Communities and the Tuscarawas County Health Department are working with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal but also a matter of life and death. During this holiday season and always, please remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

“The holidays should be an enjoyable time for our community members, not a marker for the death of a loved one due to a drunk-driving crash,” said Kelly Snyder, Safe Communities Program Coordinator at the Tuscarawas County Health Department. “In 2019, 67% of the fatal crashes in Tuscarawas County involved some type of impairment. We need a commitment from our community members that they will keep the roads free of drunk drivers so that everyone can have a safe holiday. This is a campaign to get the message out that drunk driving is illegal, and it takes lives. Help us put an end to this senseless behavior,” said Snyder.  “We are also asking everyone to remember to follow safe distancing guidelines to make the holiday weekend as safe as possible.”

“Drunk-driving-related fatalities are preventable, and drivers must remember that driving impaired by any substance — alcohol or other drugs — is deadly, illegal, and selfish behavior,” noted Snyder.

Safe Communities and the Tuscarawas County Health Department recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:

  • Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call #677.
  • Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

For more information about the 2020 Holiday Season Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.

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