Last year, 259 lives were lost to drunk driving accidents over the Christmas and New Years holidays. More than 10,000 preventable deaths are attributed to inebriated drivers annually. Mothers Against Drunk Driving dramatically reduced the number of deaths since the 1980s with their public awareness campaigns. We are on the verge of the next great frontier with technology to dramatically lower the number of drunk driving tragedies, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is aimed at educating the public to make the right choice this holiday season.
Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS)
The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) is a partnership between the government and private-sector automakers that passively detects a driver’s blood alcohol concentration and prevents the car from starting when the level is .08 or higher. The technology has been in development for nearly a decade, but federal officials have announced a $5.1 million funding initiative to help deploy DADSS technology on a broader scale.
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
Law enforcement agencies nationwide will be increasing patrols and sobriety checkpoints throughout the holiday season. The NHTSA has also launched a virtual bar experience called “Last Call 360”, accessible through mobile phone or computer. Gamers can interact with bar patrons, play games, watch videos, order virtual alcoholic drinks, and see the consequences of drinking and driving. Another app, NHTSA’s SaferRide, allows users to easily connect with a friend or a cab for a ride home after having a few drinks.
Drunk driving isn’t worth it, speaker says
Special guest Christine Alexander joined the campaign kickoff to share her personal story. Alexander made a fateful decision to drive, despite having a BAC twice the legal limit, one night in 2004. She didn’t see her friend stopped at a red light on his motorcycle until it was too late. “I didn’t have time to slow down or stop,” she recalls. “I hit him from behind… and he flew 65 feet into the air, bounced off my windshield and landed in the intersection.” He died at the hospital. Alexander did her time in jail — but, 12 years later, she still struggles with guilt. She tried killing herself seven times. “Every waking moment, you live with it and you can’t take it back,” she has said.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a drunk driving accident, don’t hesitate to contact the car accident attorneys at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye to ensure that people are held accountable for their poor decisions and negligent behavior. Investigating your legal options cannot undo the damage, but it can be a transformative step toward healing.
Additional DUI resources
- NHTSA – Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/us-dot-urges-public-%E2%80%98drive-sober-or-get-pulled-over%E2%80%99-and-announces-funding-innovative
- WUSA 9 News – Deadly Drunk Driver Offers Timely Holiday Warning http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/deadly-drunk-driver-offers-timely-holiday-warning/370188237
- CBS News – 2016 May Go Down As One Of The Worst Years For Drunk Driving http://www.cbsnews.com/news/2016-may-go-down-as-one-of-the-worst-years-for-drunk-driving-deaths/