Drive Merry, Bright and Sober this Holiday Season
December 20, 2019
Hamilton County, OH — The holidays are a time for caring and sharing, which is why the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is partnering with Hamilton County OVI Task Force and Hamilton County Safe Communities to share the message about the dangers of drunk driving. This holiday season, from December 13, 2019, through January 1, 2020, law enforcement will participate in the high-visibility national enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. During this period, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for drunk driving. Increased state and national messages about the dangers of driving impaired, coupled with enforcement and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce drunk driving on our nation’s roadways.
Sadly, the statistics prove that there is still a lot of work to do to put an end to drunk driving. According to NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), 10,511 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2018. On average, 10,000 people were killed each year from 2014 to 2018 — one person was killed in drunk-driving crashes every 50 minutes in 2018. That’s the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors. This is why Hamilton County OVI Task Force and Hamilton County Safe Communities are working with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death. As you head out to the holiday festivities, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
According to NHTSA’s FARS, 839 people lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver during the month of December 2018. During the Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday periods in 2018 alone, there were more drunk-driving-related fatalities (285) than during any other holiday period that year. These fatalities are preventable, and drivers must remember that driving impaired by any substance — drugs or alcohol — is deadly, illegal, and selfish behavior.
“The holidays should be an enjoyable time for our community members, not a marker for the death of a loved one due to a drunk-driving crash,” said Lt. Roger Pohlman, Hamilton County OVI Task Force Grant Coordinator. “We need commitment from our community members that they’ll keep the streets free of drunk drivers so that everyone can have a safe holiday. This is a campaign to get the message out that drunk driving is illegal and it takes lives. Help us put an end to this senseless behavior,” he said.
All local Hamilton County law enforcement agencies and NHTSA are reminding citizens of the many resources available to get them home safely. “Drunk driving is not acceptable behavior,” said Lt. Pohlman. “It is essential to plan a sober ride home before you ever leave for the party. That’s why, during the holiday season, we will make zero exceptions and arrest all drunk drivers. There are just no excuses,” he said.
The Hamilton County OVI Task Force recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:
- Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride sharing service to get home safely.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact 911
- Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
For more information about the 2019 Holiday Season Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/drunk-driving/holiday-season/peak-enforcement-kit.
Last Updated: December 20, 2019