The month of December is proclaimed as National Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month or National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is described by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals as “One of the deadliest and most dangerous times on America’s roadways due to an increase in impaired driving.” Therefore, for more than 40 years, preventionists across the country have observed National Impaired Driving Prevention Month in December to raise awareness that impaired driving can be deadly and to put strategies in place for all of us to make it home safely.
Over 10,000 American lives are lost to drunk and drug-impaired driving each year, accounting for nearly a third of all traffic deaths. In addition to this, The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2019 during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, 210 lives were lost due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes. A person’s ability to operate a vehicle is impaired by the effects of illegal drugs, prescription medication, over-the-counter medication, or a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams per deciliter or higher.
Accidents caused by driving under the influence are preventable. Here are a few tips to keep in mind. Firstly, always plan ahead. Designate a sober driver and arrange for an alternative route home just in case. Second, if you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or even friend, talk to your loved ones to remind them how important it is to be responsible and stay safe. Additionally, if you are the one hosting the party, always offer a non-alcoholic option for drinks for your guests so they can still have a good time eating and drinking with everyone else. This holiday season, each of us has the power to prevent a tragedy and ensure that those we know and care about get to and from their celebrations. If we practice prevention to keep ourselves and our communities safe, the holidays can be full of the joy we expect them to be.
To learn more about National Impaired Driving Prevention month please visit US Department of Health and Human Services. Additionally, you can visit the National Safety Council to learn more about impaired driving and safety tips https://www.nsc.org/road/safety-topics/impaired-driving. Along with this Mothers Against Drunk Driving also known as MADD, is a great resource to learn about the statistics and prevention of impaired driving. They also provide support to those who are victims of these horrible crimes.
If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this week’s article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. Please always feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas state agency, or if you would like to contact my office regarding constituent services. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns, or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).
– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32
Rep. Hunter represents Aransas County and Nueces County (Part). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 512-463-0672.