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GHSA News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2010


Contact: Jonathan Adkins
(202)789-0942, ext. 13
(202)669-9746, cell
jadkins@ghsa.org

States Warn Drunk Drivers: Over the Limit. Under Arrest.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Governors Highway Safety Association strongly supports the national Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. holiday drunk driving enforcement crackdown. According to GHSA Chairman Vernon F. Betkey, Jr., “State highway safety agencies are aggressively participating in this year’s effort. State law enforcement partners will be making a very visible enforcement presence by increasing their drunk driving checkpoints and saturation patrols.”

GHSA members are purchasing paid advertising and conducting a variety of awareness events to remind drivers that there’s zero tolerance for those driving drunk this holiday season. Those citizens who may selfishly consider driving drunk should know that they will be pulled over and the consequences will be severe.

The holiday season is too often a deadly time on our roadways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in December 2009, 753 people were killed in crashes that involved a drunk driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher – above the legal limit in every state and the District of Columbia.

To help move the nation toward zero roadway deaths, GHSA has been actively addressing the issue of impaired driving. Just last month, GHSA and NHTSA brought together a variety of state officials to discuss best practices in implementing alcohol ignition interlock programs. In 2011, GHSA will begin a three-year NHTSA-funded research effort to determine the most effective elements in a model interlock program. The Association strongly supports these devices and urges that they be required for all convicted drunk drivers. According to Chairman Betkey, “The technology exists to make it impossible for a person convicted of drunk driving to get behind the wheel of their vehicle unless they are sober. Every state should support these commonsense, lifesaving laws for all convicted offenders.” Currently, 12 states have passed these laws.

State efforts will complement NHTSA’s multimillion dollar Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. advertising campaign. The national holiday crackdown is organized by NHTSA and implemented by state highway safety agencies with the support of local law enforcement and other organizations. The crackdown runs through January 3.

Samples of state holiday crackdown efforts are posted online.

State drunk driving laws are also posted online at www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/impaired_laws.html.

Materials from the recent Ignition Interlock Summit can be found at www.ghsa.org/html/meetings/interlock.html.

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The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)® is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit www.ghsa.org.