The end of summer is upon us, and is traditionally marked by the Labor Day weekend. This holiday weekend is a time for America to reflect on the hard work of our fellow Americans and enjoy the last few days of summer before fall and winter approach. Whether you are going to the lake, sitting by the pool, or having a BBQ with friends, keep in mind that the Labor Day weekend is also one of the deadliest, with drunk drivers endangering themselves and others on America’s roadways.
Statistics show a frightening trend in drunk driving. According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, 199 people were killed in Alcohol-Related crashes in 2020 in the state, an increase from the 165 people killed in 2019.
As reported by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSTA), About 30% of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers (with BACs of .08 or higher). In 2020, there were 11,654 people killed in these preventable crashes. In fact, on average over the 10year period from 20112020, about 10,500 people died every year in drunk-driving crashes.
In every state, it’s illegal to drive drunk, yet one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 45 minutes in the United States in 2020.
BEING A RESPONSIBLE DRIVER IS SIMPLE: IF YOU ARE DRINKING, DO NOT DRIVE.
1. Plan your safe ride home before you start the party, choose a nondrinking friend as a designated driver.
2. If someone you know has been drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Take their keys and help them arrange a sober ride home.
3. If you’re hosting a party where alcohol will be served, make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
4. Always wear your seat belt — it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.
If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement. Your actions could help save someone’s life. For more information on Oklahoma Impaired Driving Laws, visit www.ohso.ok.gov/ laws2.