Authorities Increase Efforts to Punish Drunk Drivers
A major enforcement campaign to reduce drunk drivers kicks off in mid-August with law enforcement agencies across the country.
Called "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over," the nationwide effort is sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It continues through Labor Day weekend with high visibility patrols.
Drunk driving continues to rank as one of the leading causes of traffic accidents. More than a third of traffic fatalities involve drunk drivers. For Labor Day weekend, nearly half of all fatal crashes involve drinkers under the influence.
Other sobering statistics:
Some 10,000 people are killed in drunk driving-related accidents annual. Nearly 65 percent of the fatalities were the drunk drivers themselves.
One in five children (14 and younger) killed in traffic crashes were passengers in drunk-driving related crashes. Of those, more than half of the children’s drivers were intoxicated.
Drunk driving problems are more common during nighttime hours. During the 2014 Labor Day holiday period, more than 80 percent of drunk driving-related fatalities occurred between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
More than half of drivers killed between the ages of 18 and 34 were legally impaired.
Motorcycle riders accumulated the highest overall rate of alcohol impairment in fatal crashes. Almost 30 percent of the motorcycle riders killed in 2014 were impaired.
Every State recognizes the same legal definition of drunk driving—a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .08 or higher.