With Americans set to celebrate the upcoming Labor Day weekend, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reminding everyone about the dangers of drinking and driving. This Labor Day weekend, NHTSA will join the SAFE Delaware County Coalition in spreading the word about impaired driving dangers and to work together to get drunk drivers off the roads and help save lives.
The high-visibility national enforcement campaign, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” runs today through Sept. 7. State and national messages about the dangers of drunk driving coupled with increased law enforcement officers on the road aim to drastically reduce drunk driving on our nation’s roadways.
“Although Delaware County has experienced a significant decrease in traffic flow over the last five months, we have seen a 5% increase in OVI-related traffic crashes compared to the same time last year,” said Lt. Eric Caudill, post commander for the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Caudill added that it’s important to remember that drug-impaired driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Illegal drugs, prescription medication, and even some over-the-counter drugs can interfere with your brain’s ability to properly function. Drug use can negatively impact your motor coordination and reaction time — both critical aspects of safely operating a vehicle.
“The law enforcement community can’t fight the battle against impaired driving on our own. We need the community’s commitment to make our roads safe by being responsible and planning ahead,” Caudill said. “The time for being responsible starts before your first drink! Don’t wait until after you have started drinking as your judgement is already impaired. Your life and the lives of others are at risk if you do not have a responsible plan and the consequences of impaired driving are devastating.”
The SAFE Delaware County Coalition recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:
• Designate a sober driver or a ride service to get home safely, even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage.
• Dial #677 or 911 to report a dangerous or impaired driver. Your actions could help save someone’s life!
• Take the keys away and arrange to get your impaired friend home safely.
For more information about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/drunk-driving/national-mobilization/peak-enforcement-kit.
Submitted by the Delaware General Health District.