McIntosh County, OK — If your Thanksgiving holiday plans include enjoying an alcoholic beverage with your turkey and mashed potatoes, make sure you plan for a sober driver to get you home safely. This Thanksgiving holiday, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is teaming up with the Eufaula Police Department, Checotah Police Department, and the McIntosh County Sheriff ’s Office to make sure you make it to — and from — the Thanksgiving table. With the Thanksgiving holiday kicking off a very merry time of year, drivers are urged to remember that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
Unfortunately, drunk driving- related crashes spike during the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend. According to NHTSA, 190 people died in alcohol- impaired driving crashes during the 2021 Thanksgiving period (6 p.m. Wednesday, November 24 through 5:59 a.m. Monday, November 29). From 20172021, 832 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes during the entire Thanksgiving holiday period (6 p.m. the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through 5:59 a.m. the Monday after Thanksgiving). During this same period in 2021, males were more likely than females to be alcohol-impaired and involved in a fatal crash, with males accounting for more than three-quarters of alcohol- impaired drivers.
“This is a special time of year for so many, and we want to see our community act responsibly so that we can make happy memories all weekend long,” said Eufaula Police Chief David Bryning. “Unfortunately, drunk driving is a real threat to our neighborhoods, and that threat increases during holidays like Thanksgiving. Driving drunk is deadly and illegal, and no one should ever take that risk.”
NHTSA data shows that 13,384 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involved alcohol- impaired drivers in 2021. This represented 31% of all traffic fatalities in the United States for the year, and a 14.2% increase from 2020. As holiday parties increase during this festive season, do not contribute to these senseless deaths by driving drunk. On average, more than 11,000 people were killed each year from 2017 to 2021 in drunk-driving crashes, and one person was killed in a drunk-driving
every 39 minutes in 2021. This is why the Eufaula Police Department, Checotah
Police Department, and the McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office are working together
with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is a matter of life and death.
Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
Nationally, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, except in Utah, where the
limit is .05 g/dL. And the costs can be financial, too: If you’re caught drinking and
driving, you could face jail time, lose your driver’s license and your vehicle, and pay
up to $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, car towing, higher insurance rates, and lost
No one should mix drinking and driving, and no one is immune to the consequences
of drunk driving. If you find yourself drunk and stranded with your vehicle, give your
keys to a sober driver who can safely drive you home. Remind your friends to never
get in the vehicle with a drunk driver. If you have a friend who is about to drive
drunk, take away their keys and help them get home safely. Don’t worry about
offending someone — you might be saving their life, or someone else’s. Always have
a plan before you head out for the evening if you plan to drink alcohol. If you wait
until after you’ve been drinking to figure out how to get from one place to the next,
you may already be too impaired to make the right choices.
There are plenty of options to help impaired drivers get home safely, such as
designating a sober driver. If you see a drunk driver on the road, do not hesitate to
contact your local Law Enforcement.
By working together, we can save lives and help keep America’s roadways safe.
Please join us in sharing the lifesaving message Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving
during the holiday weekend.
For more information, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.