National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

Your local Health Center pharmacies remind you to celebrate safely this holiday season.

All too often families deal with the tragic consequences of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Impaired driving includes distracted driving, drugged driving, and drunk driving.

In an average year, 30 million Americans drive drunk, and 10 million Americans drive impaired by illicit drugs.

Rates of impaired driving differed dramatically by age.

  • While 11.8 percent of people aged 26 and older drove drunk, 19.5 percent of people aged 16 to 25 drove drunk.
  • And, 2.8 percent of the older group drove drugged, while 11.4 percent of younger drivers did so.

December seems particularly suited to this observation because traffic fatalities that involve impaired drivers increase significantly during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday periods.

During December 2018, 839 people died in alcohol-related crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While drunk driving deaths typically represent around a third of all traffic fatalities, that increased to nearly 50 percent on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31.

On Dec. 25, 2018, 35 people died in drunk driving crashes.

  • On average, 25 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes per day during December 2010.
  • Young adults are among those at greatest risk for driving impaired.

If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life, and inaction could cost a life. Families play an essential part in stopping impaired driving. By talking about the risks and setting clear expectations, parents and other caregivers can help their children stay safe, sober, and focused on the road.

Wishing you and your families a wonderful and safe holiday season.