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GHSA News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14, 2011

Contact: Kara Macek
(202)789-0942, ext. 14
kmacek@ghsa.org

States Caution Drivers to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

WASHINGTON, D.C.—All too often, holiday festivities take a deadly turn when an individual chooses to drink alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a car. Last year, 415 people were killed in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver or motorcycle rider in the last half of December alone. And, according to research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, January 1 is among the top five deadliest days on America’s roadways.

These grim statistics illustrate why state highway safety offices across the country are working hard to keep drunk drivers off the roads this holiday season.

As part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over mobilization, Governors Highway Safety Association’s (GHSA) member state agencies are teaming up with their law enforcement partners to detect and deter drunk drivers through highly visible enforcement efforts – such as sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols – coupled with strong public awareness campaigns.

The national mobilization is organized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and implemented by state highway safety offices with the support of local law enforcement and other organizations. It runs December 16 through January 2.

GHSA strongly supports the national holiday drunk driving crackdown. According to GHSA Executive Director Barbara Harsha, “Any person who considers drinking and driving should know that police are out in full force watching for them. The time for warnings has long passed. If you drive drunk this holiday season, there will be consequences.”

In addition to stepped up enforcement efforts, states are purchasing paid advertising and conducting a variety of events to remind drivers that there will be zero tolerance for those driving drunk. These state media efforts support NHTSA’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over national advertising campaign.

Some highlights of state activities are listed below:

A list of state activities can be found at: www.ghsa.org/html/issues/impaireddriving/holiday11.html

State drunk driving laws are at: www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/impaired_laws.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. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GHSAhq. Follow us on Twitter at @GHSAHQ.