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GHSA News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2012

Contact: Kara Macek
202-789-0942 x140
kmacek@ghsa.org

States Step Up Efforts to Stop Drunk Drivers

Holiday Season is Particularly Dangerous

WASHINGTON, D.C.—This holiday season, states are joining forces in a nationwide effort to stop impaired driving and save lives. The winter holidays are an especially dangerous time on America's roadways. In December 2010, 775 people (an average of 25 people per day) were killed in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver.

As part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over mobilization, Governors Highway Safety Association's (GHSA) member state highway safety agencies are working with law enforcement and other local partners to detect and deter drunk drivers. This annual campaign combines high visibility enforcement with strong public awareness messages. It runs from December 12 through Jan 1.

GHSA Chairman Kendell Poole notes, "Too often there's an incorrect assumption that the drunk driving problem is solved. That couldn't be further from the truth, as we continue to lose our friends and neighbors due to drivers drinking too much and getting behind the wheel."

While the problem persists, alcohol ignition interlock laws for all first time offenders provide an effective countermeasure. Seventeen states have enacted these lifesaving laws and GHSA continues to encourage the other states to follow suit. To help states implement effective interlock programs, GHSA and its federal partners are in the middle of a three-year study to evaluate state interlock systems and make recommendations for improvements.

This year, states are taking a variety of creative approaches to remind the public of the dangerous consequences of driving while impaired. Below are just a few examples of these efforts:

More state activities are posted here: www.ghsa.org/html/issues/impaireddriving/holiday12.html.

View state drunk driving laws at www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/impaired_laws.html.

For information on the national campaign, visit www.nhtsa.gov/drivesober.

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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 or follow us on Twitter at @GHSAHQ.