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Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

August 11, 2016, 12:10 PM HST
* Updated August 11, 12:13 PM
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Big Island Now stock photo. August 2016

Big Island Now stock photo. August 2016

The nation will soon celebrate the end of the summer with barbecues, parties and get-togethers.

This time of the year has also become dangerous for America’s roads when drunk drivers chose to get behind the wheel after celebrating.

To stop impaired driving and to save lives, the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation and the National Traffic Safety Administration will launch the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over national enforcement campaign, which will run from Aug. 19 through Sept. 5, 2016.

The 2016 Labor Day weekend starts on Friday, Sept. 2, and ends on Monday Sept. 5.

In 2014, there were 401 crash fatalities nationwide during the Labor Day holiday period. Almost half (48%) of those fatal crashes involved drivers who with a blood alcohol concentration of .01 grams per deciliter or higher, 40% involved drivers who were drunk (.08-plus BAC) and more than one-fourth (28%) involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the illegal limit (.15+).

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Drivers should expect to see more patrol vehicles and sobriety checkpoints during this high-visibility campaign, so make sure you obey the law:

  • Don’t drink and drive, and don’t let your friends do it, either.
  • Keep in mind that officers conduct impaired driving enforcement year round, not just during this enforcement campaign.
  • Every week throughout the year, police statewide conduct sobriety checkpoints.
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National Facts and Statistics

  • August 2014 represented nearly one-tenth of the year’s vehicle fatalities, with 962 people killed in drunk-driving crashes.
  • The 2014 Labor Day holiday weekend made up 17% of all drunk driving fatalities that month.
  • Among the drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 who were killed in crashes over the Labor Day holiday period in 2014, 51% of those fatalities involved a drunk driver with a BAC of .08 or higher.
  • Drunk driving is more common at night, and Labor Day weekend in 2014 was no exception. During the 2014 Labor Day holiday period, 83% of drunk-driving crash fatalities occurred between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.
  • 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 53 minutes in the US.
  • Also, from 2010 to 2014, on average, over 40,000 people have died in drunk-driving crashes in the US. This means that approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities involve drunk drivers.

Plan Before You Party

  • Always have a plan for a safe way home before the celebration commences.
  • Do not forget to designate a sober driver or use public transportation to get home safely.
  • Download the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s SaferRide app, available for Android and Apple. The app can help users call a taxi or a friend for a ride home, and help you identify your location so you can be picked up. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play and Apple devices on the iTunes store.

Important Things to Remember

  • 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.
  • Do not forget that while you’re out celebrating this Labor Day, you could lose everything, 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.
  • And the financial responsibility doesn’t end there. 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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