National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

The holiday season is officially in full swing! That means lots of overindulgence festive spirit, holiday parties, and ugly Christmas sweaters. It also means reaching for a glass (or 5) of your favorite alcoholic beverage to celebrate the season, take the edge off the holiday gift giving stress, or make it a little bit easier to deal with the in-laws.

With all of the celebrations and holiday gatherings, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has designated December National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.

Why December?

December is one of the busiest months on the roads. I-10 is packed with holiday travelers going to and from their families house. Houghton is crammed with folks heading home from company Christmas parties. Kolb gets jammed with shoppers going to and from Park Place searching for the perfect gift. It’s a madhouse out there, which makes December one of the most dangerous driving months of the year.

Statistics About Drunk Driving Around the Holidays

Need proof that December is a dangerous month on the roads? Here are a few statistics:

  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that in December 2012, 830 people were killed as a result of drunk driving.
  • The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that more traffic accidents and fatalities happen on major holidays.
  • AAA reports that the New Year’s period between 2007 and 2011 found that 42% of traffic fatalities happened because of drunk driving, and on Christmas 35% of accidents were a result of drunk driving.

These statistics should be enough to keep you sober, yet every year drunk driving fatalities occur.

How to Stay Safe Behind the Wheel This Holiday Season

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department will start issuing more press releases about sobriety checkpoints around Vail and Tucson. The first one is planned for Saturday, December 6. To help you stay safe and avoid getting a DUI (or worse) here are a few tips.

  • Plan ahead. If you know who’s driving home at the start of the night, it makes it easier for that person to stick to non-alcoholic beverages throughout the night. If no one wants to be a designated driver, put the number to a taxi company or download the Uber app in your phone.
  • Just say no to letting your friends get behind the wheel. Many people can’t tell if they’re sober or buzzed and too often these drivers take a chance. Don’t be afraid to pull the keys from your friend if you don’t think they’re sober enough to drive.
  • Stay vigilant. Other drivers might not be as responsible as you this holiday season. Stay aware of your surroundings and watch out for behaviors that look suspicious. If someone is out of control, report the suspicious behavior by calling 911.

Drunk driving is everyone’s responsibility. Do your part to keep our streets safe this holiday by participating in National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.


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Lucretia Free