Now that the holiday season is here, Americans across the country are revving up for travel and holiday activities. But for some, however, the season won’t be one to celebrate—because of the tragedy of impaired driving.
Beginning on Thanksgiving weekend, November 27, through New Year’s Eve on December 31, Salt River Police Department (SRPD) officers will be out in force with Holiday DUI Task Force Special Operations making sure drunk drivers are off the road. No matter what you drive—a passenger car, pickup truck or motorcycle—if you are caught driving while impaired, you will be arrested.
Since 1981, every president of the United States has demonstrated a commitment to the prevention of impaired driving by proclaiming December as National Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month. The SRPD is urging the public and members of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community to help keep our Community streets safe by drinking responsibly. Before you head out to Christmas parties or New Year’s Eve celebrations, designate a sober driver.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that drunk driving is one of America’s deadliest crimes. In 2008, tragically, 11,773 people died in highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. The picture for women is particularly concerning. Twenty-one percent of the 5,473 female drivers killed in crashes in 2008 had BAC levels of .08 or higher.
SRPD officers recommend the following tips for safe celebrations:
* Plan a safe way home before your celebrations begin.
* If you plan to get a ride home with someone else, designate the sober driver before any drinking begins.
* If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
* Ask if the cab or bar offers a “Free Ride Back” or other free or discounted transportation program.
* If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement.
Driving impaired is simply not worth the risk. The consequences are serious and real. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be significant. Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates and dozens of other unanticipated expenses.
To learn more, please contact the SRPD Traffic Enforcement Bureau or SRPD Web site (www.srpmic-nsn.gov/government/srpd/) for related links. The message is simple: If you’re caught driving drunk, you will be arrested. No exceptions. No excuses. Remember, “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.”
Have a safe holiday season! Don’t drink and drive. Buckle up yourself and your children. Obey all traffic laws and drive safely.