On Labor Day weekend many will be celebrating the end of the summer. Sadly, this holiday has also become a dangerous time on America’s roads, as many impaired drivers get behind the wheel after celebrating. For this reason, the Contra Costa County Avoid the 25 anti-DUI task force is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) to stop impaired drivers and help save lives. The high-visibility national enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, runs August 19 – September 5, 2016.
The Avoid the 25 will deploy numerous anti-DUI saturation patrols throughout the county to stop and arrest impaired drivers during this end of summer 18-day crackdown. The Lafayette Police Department will host a DUI/Drivers license checkpoint in Lafayette on Thursday, September 1, 2016. Other operations in Contra Costa include a DUI warrant/probation sweep and a court-sting targeting suspended drivers who were ordered by a judge not to drive, but continue to get behind the wheel.
According to NHSTA, on average, over 10,000 people died each year (2010 to 2014) in drunk-driving crashes nationwide. During the 2014 Labor Day holiday weekend (6 p.m. August 29 – 5:59 a.m. September 2), 40 percent of the fatalities in traffic crashes involved drunk drivers, which was the highest percentage over the five years from 2010 to 2014. And nighttime proves to be the most dangerous time to be out on the roads: During the 2014 Labor Day holiday period, 83 percent of drunk-driving crash fatalities occurred between 6 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.
Additionally, 40 percent of crash fatalities on Labor Day weekend in 2014 involved drunk drivers (with blood alcohol concentrations [BACs] of .08 or higher), amounting to 162 lives lost nationwide and 20 in California. And we’re not just talking about a little bit of alcohol, either. More than a quarter (28%) of the crash fatalities that occurred on Labor Day weekend involved drivers with BACs of .15 or higher—almost twice the illegal limit.
The Avoid the 25 reminds everyone:
- Plan a safe way home before the fun begins. Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
- Drivers are encouraged to download the Designated Driver VIP, or “DDVIP,” free mobile app for Android or iPhone. The DDVIP app helps find nearby establishments that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver. The feature-packed app has social media tie-ins and even a tab to call Uber, Lyft or Curb.
- If you know someone who is about to drive or ride a motorcycle while impaired, take your friend’s keys and help your friend make other arrangements to get to where he or she is going safely
As the summer winds to an end, remember that there’s no excuse for impaired driving. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
Funding for the Avoid the 25 program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.