Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.
2008 Holiday Crackdown
December 13 - 31
The holiday season should be a time to celebrate with friends and family. Unfortunately, all too often, too much holiday "spirit" has tragic consequences when revelers make the reckless decision to drink and drive. Last December, nearly 1,000 people were killed in crashes that involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. This is why State Highway Safety Offices around the country are working with NHTSA, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to step up drunk driving education and enforcement efforts around the holidays.
Examples of specific state enforcement and public information efforts are listed below. State drunk driving laws and additional resources about this issue are available on the GHSA Drunk Driving Laws page.
- Alaska—Alaska is planning multi-jurisdictional saturation patrols on its major highway corridor throughout the holiday season. This corridor runs from the North Pole, down through Fairbanks and Anchorage, and ends on the Kenai Peninsula, and it serves as the only transportation surface for both commercial and non-commercial vehicles for over 88% of the population. Beginning Dec. 1, the Alaska State Troopers Bureau of Highway Patrol, consisting of trained Troopers and local law enforcement officers, will act as roving patrols on the lookout for impaired drivers.
- Arkansas—Arkansas law enforcement will be out in force for a highly visible Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. mobilization Dec. 19 through Jan. 1, with paid media placements Dec. 17 through 31. Earned media efforts include statewide news release and the creation of a viral marketing tool–an email banner that will reach over 60,000 State employees. The State Highway Department will also display messages on statewide highway changeable message boards.
- Arizona—Arizona kicked off its six-week Holiday DUI Task Force Crackdown with a press conference at the State Capitol on Nov. 25, with representatives from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, law enforcement, transportation and health departments, and MADD. From Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, the state's 10 DUI Task Forces are out in force around the state to remove impaired drivers; last year, they arrested nearly 3,000 people. The enforcement efforts are being supported with paid and earned media, including Arizona's "These Lights Will Silent Your Night" campaign, which includes distributing 50,000 flashing red and blue plastic ice cubes to bars, and office and home parties to remind people to use designated drivers or have a sober ride home (more info at: www.blinkingice.com).
- California—California is mounting the largest ever holiday season enforcement and public awareness campaign. The California Highway Patrol will have 80 percent of their officers on the road over holiday weekends. More than100 individual city police departments are staging checkpoints throughout the month. More than 500 law enforcement agencies covering 98 percent of the state's population are banding together in cooperative regional task forces to run checkpoint, saturation patrol, warrant search and court sting operations. A public awareness campaign will be spreading the "Report Drunk Drivers - Call 911" and "Plan ahead - Designate a sober driver" messages in San Diego, Los Angeles, Fresno, Sacramento, and San Francisco markets via TV and radio, billboards, bus signs, taxi toppers, airport signs, restaurant and bar napkins and coasters, web banner ads, and millions of safe holiday tip sheets distributed through super markets.
- Connecticut—Connecticut is conducting a comprehensive traffic safety media campaign including television, radio spots, and bus panels. This campaign supplements the national media buy. Two state-specific TV commercials are being broadcast, one featuring Governor M. Jodi Rell. Public service announcements and an impaired driving fact sheet were sent to all Connecticut media outlets. The Connecticut DOT has awarded 83 comprehensive DUI enforcement grants to state and local law enforcement agencies for the 2008 holiday travel period. Included in this effort are saturation DUI patrols and over 90 planned DUI checkpoints throughout the state. Also, 23 variable message signs will display, "Drunk Driving, Over the Limit, Under Arrest" on major interstate highways during the holiday season.
- Delaware—2008 is the 10th annual Delaware holiday traffic safety initiative–the Safe Family Holiday Campaign, combining high visibility enforcement, paid media and public awareness activities. Law enforcement are conducting 21 sobriety checkpoints and 198 saturation patrols. Media includes 490 TV spots, 542 radio ads, 13 billboards, 52 bus panels, print ads in entertainment magazines, and Internet ads on My Space and DelawareHispanic.com. Awareness activities consist of “mocktail” (mock cocktail) parties, "Don’t Drink and Drive" tree tag distribution, and DUI Victim’s Trees, using lights on trees in the DMV offices to illustrate the number of alcohol-related deaths and injuries occurring.
- Florida—Florida is holding a variety of local impaired driving awareness events. The State DOT, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement, the Florida Highway Patrol, local law enforcement agencies, and local MADD chapters have all been invited to speak. Law enforcement agencies across the state are conducting DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols from Dec. 13 through Jan. 1, and Law Enforcement Liaisons are working to help coordinate these efforts.
- Idaho-In Idaho, more than 30 law enforcement agencies are dedicating extra patrols in Idaho's "Drunk Driving, Over the Limit, Under Arrest" campaign from Dec. 22 through Jan. 4. The emphasis is on keeping families safe on the highways by raising awareness of DUI enforcement, and reminding people to plan ahead if they are going to drink and always wear their seat belts. Media coverage includes radio, television ads and billboards placed throughout the state. Bar coasters with the "Drunk Driving, Over the Limit, Under Arrest" message will be distributed by regional law enforcement liaisons.
- Illinois—The Illinois DOT's Division of Traffic Safety's has partnered with 225 state and local law enforcement agencies that will conduct roadside safety checks and hundreds of saturation patrols. Kickoff press events will take place Dec. 16 in locations throughout the state. A statewide media buy includes radio, TV, digital billboards and the Internet, with a focus on 18-34 year-old males (African-American, Hispanic and rural Caucasians). The Division of Traffic Safety is also holding a wet lab Dec. 16th in Chicago to demonstrate the effects of alcohol and show how a ignition interlocks can help curb impaired driving.
- Kansas—Kansas is taking advantage of some earned media opportunities during the crackdown period. Both local law enforcement and the Kansas Highway Patrol will be increasing enforcement activities throughout the holiday period, and additional media messages will be broadcast during basketball games at the three large universities in Kansas.
- Kentucky—Law enforcement agencies across the state are conducting traffic safety checkpoints and additional traffic patrol enforcement efforts for the holiday season. The Office of Highway Safety is distributing a press release warning drivers of the dangers of drunk driving and preparing them for the increase in law enforcement.
- Louisiana—The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission anticipates hosting a joint press event with the Governor's Office and the Louisiana State Police to raise awareness on Louisiana's impaired driving issues. The existing laws for impaired driving limits and consequences of mandatory ignition interlock will be emphasized. The partnerships between law enforcement. state agencies, educators, and grassroots organizations will also be highlighted.
- Maine—The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety is supporting a sustained holiday enforcement period that runs from October 15th through New Year's Day. Thirty-three local police departments, seven county Sheriffs' offices, and the Maine State Police are participating. Over $262,000 has been awarded to the departments to fund their enforcement efforts. Several departments have sent press releases to their local media outlets, alerting their communities to the stepped up enforcement that is taking place this holiday season.
- Maryland—The Maryland Highway Safety Office (MHSO) is sponsoring checkpoint check-ins, with law enforcement calling in to radio stations with arrest updates to warn drivers. Mass saturation patrols begin on Thanksgiving and continue through New Years. MHSO is conducting its annual memorial and press event highlighting the year's drunk driving prevention accomplishments to create added awareness and honor crash victims. NHTSA Region III's Checkpoint Strikeforce initiative will also ramp up in December with radio and TV ads, and outdoor advertising in the Baltimore and D.C. areas.
Two controlled 'wet' demonstrations will air on Maryland and DC radio stations. The Maryland State Highway Administration is airing DUI messaging on variable message signs. Finally, area groups will offering free cab rides home throughout the holiday season.
- Massachusetts—With over $1 million in federal grant funding, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) is supporting a Holiday Season Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. high visibility enforcement mobilization from Dec. 12 through Jan. 4. This mobilization involves additional state police, over 200 grant awards to local police departments focused on apprehending impaired drivers, paid and earned media to spotlight this extra enforcement effort and the dangers of drunk driving, and supportive community-liquor law/underage drinking education and enforcement efforts. Enforcement involves saturation patrols and numerous sobriety checkpoints led by the state police partnering with local police departments and utilizing two Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) Mobile units funded by EOPSS. A statewide press event takes place Dec. 30 involving traffic safety partners, law enforcement, legislators and state officials. Outreach includes an op-ed article and a sample local press release for use by local police departments.
- Minnesota—Minnesota conducted a statewide media launch of its month-long DWI enforcement effort on Dec. 2, featuring UPS truck delivering the gift that will keep roads safe during the holidays: a truckload of cops. The media event also announced the deadliest counties for impaired driving. Media buys began Dec. 4 (TV, radio, online, out-of-home, pump toppers, alternative/college weeklies, movie theaters). The state is distributing "Designated Driver Action Figure" life-sized boxes for promotional purposes, "Designated Driver Gift Cards," as well as their accompanying counter-top displays and bar coasters to partners statewide and through a beer wholesaler network—targeting liquor stores, fast food, convenience stores and bars. At www.minnesotasafeandsober.org, visitors can send electronic Designated Driver Gift Card and Action Figures.
- Mississippi—Mississippi is planning both a statewide DUI paid media campaign and stepped up DUI enforcement during the Christmas/New Year's holiday season. Additionally, a health fair on Dec. 6 kicks off the month.
- Missouri—Missouri is conducting a Holiday Impaired Driving Mobilization Campaign Dec. 8 - 14. Nearly 150 law enforcement agencies are receiving mini-grants to cover the cost of officer overtime for saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints. A press conference in Joplin, MO kicked off the campaign. It highlighted: the upcoming statewide campaign; Joplin's recent acquisition of two full-time DWI officers through a Missouri Highway Safety Office grant; and the Southwest Missouri DWI Task Force–agencies in six southwestern Missouri counties sharing manpower and resources to help combat impaired driving. Radio and Internet ads portraying the consequences of an impaired driving conviction are also being aired.
- Nebraska—Law enforcement agencies in Nebraska are conducting saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints across the state during the crackdown period, with over 12,000 additional hours of enforcement . Law firms in Lincoln and Omaha are offering free taxi rides home during the campaign. The Nebraska Reporting Underage Drinking Toll Free Tip Line becomes operational, and additional impaired driving ads will run during the crackdown period. Additionally, the state's new mandatory ignition interlock law for all first time DUI offenders that takes effect on Jan. 1 is being featured in news stories.
- Nevada—Law enforcement agencies participating in the "Joining Forces" program are conducting DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols between December 1 and January 4, covering 95% of Nevada's population. Their efforts are supported by paid media from Dec. 24 to Jan. 3. The Governor is issuing a proclamation identifying December as an Impaired Driving enforcement/awareness month. The University Medical Center/Clark County Safe Communities are jointly sponsoring a "home for the holidays" campaign emphasizing the designated driver program. STOP DUI celebrates its 21st anniversary with a red ribbon dedication at Kyle Canyon, a safe corridor program reducing fatalities from 5 to 7 per year down to one per year over the past 15 years.
- New Jersey—Law enforcement officials are cracking down on drunk drivers as part of the annual year-end "Over the Limit, Under Arrest" campaign. Approximately 100 police agencies are receiving $5,000 grants for saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints. All police departments have received information packets on the initiative and are asked to participate and report their arrest statistics. A sample news release is also being distributed, for police to send this to their local media to help publicize their efforts. There is also a general release for statewide distribution. At the end of the campaign, results will be released to the media. The program is featured prominently on the Division's website, where public education information and collateral campaign materials are readily accessible to local municipalities and the general public. Local municipalities are also using banners and mobile video display signs to further promote the dangers of drinking and driving.
- New Mexico—The New Mexico Department of Transportation, Traffic Safety Bureau (TSB), in coordination with approximately 85 local, state, and tribal law enforcement agencies, is participating in Operation Driving While Impaired during the Winter Superblitz. From Nov. 21 through Jan. 4, law enforcement agencies are conducting sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols. The TSB is also kicking off a new TV media theme depicting “A Storm” of law enforcement headed toward drunk drivers all over the state. These efforts, along with billboards, radio spots and press events, all aim to reduce alcohol related fatalities across the state.
- New York—The Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), the NY State STOP-DWI Association, and local and state police have joined forces to participate in the Holiday STOP-DWI Enforcement Crackdown running from Nov. 21 to Jan 1. Saturation patrols, sobriety checkpoints and underage drinking bar sweeps will all be part of the effort. In addition, county STOP-DWI programs are holding local press conferences to localize their message. GTSC has also begun airing its annual "Drinking and Driving - Not an Option" television and radio commercial that runs through New Years. GTSC is also printing and distributing "Drinking and Driving - Not an Option" posters statewide.
- North Dakota—North Dakota's holiday campaign began with a statewide news conference noting the 111 lives lost to motor vehicle fatalities in the state in 2007, illustrated by a dead tree branch with a snowflake to represent each life lost. Speakers pointed out that 63 of the 111 killed (57%) were in crashes that involved alcohol. The public was encouraged to make responsible decisions regarding drinking and driving throughout the season. This was the first of multiple news conferences conducted by Safe Communities programs to communicate the "don't drink and drive" message at the local level. The North Dakota DOT is also working on getting stories in the media markets throughout the state, focusing on "The Cost of a DUI." Ads targeting 21-34-year-old males are also being placed on cable TV and radio statewide .
- Pennsylvania—Pennsylvania is conducting increased DUI enforcement Nov. 17 through Jan. 31, using the theme "Operation Safe Holiday." With DUI as the primary focus, police are targeting locations where seat belt usage and aggressive driving are both problems. Over 400 municipal police and all State Police Troops are expected to participate. In addition to impaired driving awareness, media efforts are also promoting seat belt usage and anti-aggressive driving. An informational handout will be passed out to motorists in traffic stops, and traffic safety professionals will join police and media to provide public education and outreach.
- South Carolina—South Carolina's holiday crackdown campaign, Sober or Slammer!, combines enforcement and paid/earned media to reduce the occurrence of alcohol and drug-related traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities. Paid media runs Dec. 10 - Jan. 1. The SC Department of Public Safety's Office of Highway Safety is unveiling a $400,000 media effort featuring two 30-second television spots back-to-back. One is a revival of a "Highways or Dieways?" television spot showing an impaired driver running a stop sign, striking and running over two skaters, and being arrested for DUI. This is followed by a heavy enforcement spot featuring quotes from South Carolinians on their attitudes toward impaired driving. Enforcement runs from Dec. 12 - Jan. 1. The SC Highway Patrol and the State Transport Police are partnering with local law enforcement agencies to engage in aggressive DUI enforcement using public safety checkpoints and saturation patrols.
- Tennessee—Tennessee is planning two different enforcement mobilizations in support of the Crackdown. NO MORE ON 64 is a high visibility enforcement that will be conducted in 6 Tennessee counties that run along U.S. Highway 64. This mobilization involves 14 law enforcement agencies running sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols from 2:00 p.m. on Dec. 19 through 2:00 a.m. on Dec. 20. Also, the Cumberland Crackdown is planned for Wednesday, Dec. 31 from 2:00 p.m. through 2:00 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 1. Twenty-three agencies will participate in the Cumberland Crackdown, focusing their efforts on State Routes 127 and 111. Media plans include two press events with releases, $116,000 in radio advertising, $346,000 in television advertising. Messages will also run on overhead digital boards for three weekends.
- Texas—Texas' public media includes radio and TV PSAs, billboards, gas pump toppers, cab advertising, coasters for bars and restaurants, posters,decals for beer coolers in convenience stores, and fact sheets. Materials are in English and Spanish. A statewide news releases and video footage is being provided to media outlets. Find samples of some of the materials on the TxDOT website: www.txdot.gov and use the key word traffic safety. Also, check out Santa's new My Space page at www.myspace.com/santaintexas. Internet interactive banners will direct viewers to the My Space page. In addition to year-long enforcement grants, Texas has additional law enforcement agencies that will be conducting overtime DWI enforcement through impaired driving mobilization grants for the holiday period.
- Utah—UHSO has partnered with the Intermountain Medical Center to hold a media event in the Emergency Room Trauma Care Center, Dec. 12 at 10:00 am. Guest speakers include Art Brown, President of Utah Chapter of MADD, Murray Police Chief Pete Fondaco, Jennifer Reynolds, Physicians Assistant, Emergency Room Trauma Care and Anna-Kay Waddoups, DUI Victim, who is also the chair of the DUI Committee for the Utah Substance Abuse and Anti-Violence Council.
The local Salt Lake Multi-Agency Task Force law enforcement representatives will be in attendance, and the theme for the event is, "M RY CHRISTMAS, Wishing you an ER-free holiday. Don't Drive Drunk." DUI Checkpoints and High Visibility Enforcement Saturation Patrols are running throughout the state from Dec. 12 - Jan. 1.
- Vermont—In addition to planned regional checkpoints and saturation patrols, funded by grants, Vermont is activating its DUI Task Force teams in four locations on two different nights. Each Task Force, a team of five officers, will conduct saturation patrols in Caledonia and Washington Counties on Dec. 20 and Franklin and Rutland Counties on Dec. 31.
- Wyoming—The Wyoming Highway Patrol is using overtime grant funds to heighten enforcement during the C.A.R.E. and December Crackdown campaigns and also is providing local media with a Press Release of their efforts. Local agencies are also supporting the campaign statewide, though only a couple currently have overtime grants to fund the heightened enforcement. Television ($16,000) and radio ($1,500) paid media ads are being used to raise public awareness of the holiday enforcement efforts. Highway DMV signs will also display a DUI enforcement message during the holiday season.