This Labor Day, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’

Members of the Adams County Safe Communities Coalition receive the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over 2017 proclamation from the Adams County Commissioners, declaring their support for the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over 2017 Labor Day Holiday Statewide Crackdown. Pictured above, left to right, are: Ty R. Pell, Adams County Commissioner, Debbie Ryan, Adams County Safe Communities Coordinator, Brian Baldridge, Adams County Commissioner, Jason Work, Adams County Health Department, Leeann Puckett, GE-Peebles and Adams County Health and Wellness Coalition, Holly Johnson, Adams County Economic and Community Development Director, Dr. William Hablitzel, Adams County Health Commissioner, Diane Ward, Adams County Commissioner, Amanda Fraley, Adams County Economic and Community Development Office, and Beverly Mathias, Adams County Health Department.

The end of summer is traditionally marked by the Labor Day holiday, a time for our country to reflect on the hard work of our fellow Americans. The long weekend is typically celebrated through picnics, pool parties, and barbecues, as families and friends enjoy the last few days of summer before fall and winter approach. Sadly, the Labor Day holiday is also one of the deadliest, with drunk drivers endangering themselves and others on America’s roadways. This year, law enforcement agencies in Adams County are partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to stop drunk drivers and help save lives.
The high-visibility national enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, runs from Aug. 16 through Sept. 4, 2017. 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.
Statistics show a frightening trend in drunk-driving. According to NHTSA, 10,265 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2015, an increase from the 9,967 people killed in 2014. On average, 10,000 people were killed each year from 2011 to 2015—one person killed every 51 minutes in 2015. That’s the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors. This is why the Adams County Safe Communities Coalition is working with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death. As you head out to Labor Day festivities, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
Over the Labor Day holiday period in 2015, there were 460 crash fatalities nationwide. Forty percent of those fatal crashes involved drivers who had been drinking (.01+ BAC). Of those alcohol-related fatal crashes, one third (33%) involved drivers who were drunk (.08+ BAC), and nearly one-fourth (23%) involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the illegal limit (.15+ BAC). Nighttime is the most dangerous time to be out on the roads: During the 2015 Labor Day holiday period, 78 percent 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 the year.
“We’re stressing the dangers of driving impaired to our community,” said Lieutenant Randy McElfresh, Commander, Georgetown State Highway Patrol Post. “Drunk driving is a massive problem in the United States, with more than 10,000 people dying annually. If you’re out on the roads and you see someone driving drunk, please call us. You could help save a life,” he said.
Debbie Ryan, Coordinator of the Adams County Safe Communities Coalition, reminds Adams County residents of the many resources available to get them home safely. Drunk driving is not acceptable behavior. According to Ms. Ryan, it is essential to plan a sober ride home before you ever leave for the party. That’s why, during the Labor Day holiday, law enforcement will make zero exceptions for drunk driving.
The Adams County Safe Communities Coalition recommends safe alternatives to drinking and driving:
• Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get home safely.
• Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app available on Google Play for Android devices: (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nhtsa.SaferRide&hl=en), and Apple’s iTunes Store for IOS devices: (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saferride/id950774008?mt=8). SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
• If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911 to alert local law enforcement.
• Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
Members and partners of the Adams County Safe Communities Coalition will be out on Friday, Aug. 18 from 11a.m. to 1 p.m., for a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over “ kick-off celebration, adjacent to the Adams County Courthouse with educational and safety messaging regarding driving sober. Stop by to see them and pledge your support to designate a sober driver if you plan to be on the roads during this holiday period. The Coalition will be grilling free hot dogs and will have ice cold Adams County water on hand, as well as numerous traffic safety messaging materials for everyone. Stop by the Courthouse square to see them!
For more information about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.

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