Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over: Aug. 16 to Sept. 4

August 13, 2017, 4:44 PM HST · Updated August 13, 4:47 PM
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The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation, together with the National Traffic Safety Administration will launch the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over national enforcement campaign, which will run from Aug. 16 through Sept. 4, 2017..

Impaired Driving Enforcement. Maui Now graphic.

The enforcement effort will span the Labor Day weekend which begins on Friday, Sept. 1, and runs through Monday, Sept 4, 2017.

In 2015, there were 460 crash fatalities nationwide during the Labor Day holiday period. Forty percent of those fatal crashes involved drivers who had been drinking with a blood alcohol concentration of .01 grams per deciliter or higher. Of those alcohol-related fatal crashes, 33% involved drivers who were drunk (.08+ BAC), and nearly 23% involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the illegal limit (.15+).

Campaign representatives say that during the 2015 Labor Day holiday period, 78% 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.

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Drivers can expect to see more patrol vehicles and sobriety checkpoints during this high-visibility campaign:  While impaired driving enforcement is conducted year round, officers will make zero exceptions for drunk driving during the Labor Day holiday.

National Facts and Statistics:

  • In fatal crashes in August during the years 2011-2015, 55% of the drivers involved who had one or more previous convictions for drunk driving, were impaired with a BAC of .08 or higher.
  • Among the drivers between the ages of 18 and 34, who were killed in crashes over the Labor Day holiday period in 2015, 44% of those fatalities involved drunk drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher.
  • In 2015, approximately 1 in 5 children (14 and younger) killed in traffic crashes were killed in drunk-driving crashes. Fifty-one percent of the time, it was the child’s own driver who was drunk.
  • In every State, it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, yet one person is killed in a drunk-driving crash every 51 minutes in the United States.
  • Also, from 2011 to 2015 on average over 40,000 people have died in drunk-driving crashes in the United States. This means that approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities involve drunk drivers. And it is equivalent to 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors.

Financial Impacts:

  • On average, a DUI can set you back $10,000 in attorney fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, car towing and repairs, and more.
  • The financial impact from impaired-driving crashes can be devastating: based on 2010 numbers (the most recent year for which cost data is available), impaired-driving crashes cost the United States $44 billion annually.

Advice for drivers: Plan Before You Party:

  • Always have a plan for a safe way home before the celebrations begin.
  • Do not forget to designate a sober driver or use public transportation to get home safely.
  • The NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.  It is 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).

Important Things to Remember:  (As suggested by campaign organizers)

  • Be a responsible citizen – if you know someone who is about to drive or ride after drinking, take the keys and help them get safely to their destination by making the necessary arrangements.
  • If you choose to drink and drive, not only would you be risking your life and the lives of others – you could face a DUI arrest. The average DUI costs $10,000, making it difficult to recover financially.
  • Arrested drunk drivers face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other hefty expenses, from car towing and repairs to attorney fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, and more.

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