Almost 1,000 Californians died in 2019 due to drunk driving
WHAT: With our nation celebrating the upcoming Labor Day holiday, MADD California along with the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) join the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in reminding everyone about the dangers of drinking and driving. Over Labor Day weekend, MADD staff and volunteers will join local law enforcement to spread the word about impaired driving dangers and 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 from August 18 through September 6, 2021. Increased 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. Funding for this DUI enforcement was provided by grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In conjunction with the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, MADD California will be participating in Saturation Saturday on August 28, 2021. Victim volunteers of impaired driving crashes will join law enforcement agencies throughout California to share their stories to assist in removing drunk and drugged drivers off our roadways.
“MADD urges the community to help make the roads safer than ever this Labor Day holiday.” said Patricia Rillera, State Executive Director, MADD California. “We hope residents will help spread the message of planning ahead by designating a non-drinking driver if celebrations include alcohol.”
During the 2019 Labor Day holiday period (6 p.m. August 30 – 5:59 a.m. September 3), there were 451 crash fatalities nationwide. Forty-five percent of those fatalities involved drivers who had been drinking (.01+ BAC). More than one-third (38%) of the fatalities involved drivers who were drunk (.08+ BAC), and nearly one-fourth (24%) involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the legal limit (.15+ BAC). Age is a particularly risky factor: Among drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 who were killed in crashes over the Labor Day holiday period in 2019, 46% of those drivers were drunk, with BACs of .08 or higher.
The timing of the campaign is significant because on Saturday, August 7 at 11:30 a.m. a suspected DUI driver was arrested after an alleged road-rage incident led to a multivehicle crash killing a pregnant woman along with her unborn child and injuring a 10-year-old boy in the city of Long Beach. As a result of this crash, the need is heightened for MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving program and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign to address the ripple effects of driving impaired.