Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over This Holiday Season and Every Day

December 22, 2022

Hamilton County, Ohio — This holiday season, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is partnering with all Hamilton County Safe Communities to share the message about the dangers of drunk driving. NHTSA and local law enforcement want all drivers to remember this lifesaving message: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Drivers will see officers working together December 16, 2022, through January 1, 2023, to take drunk drivers off the roads.

According to NHTSA, 11,654 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2020 that involved an alcohol-impaired driver. On average, more than 10,000 people were killed each year from 2016 to 2020, and one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 45 minutes in 2020. This is why all local law enforcement agencies will be working together 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.

“It’s so important that drivers act responsibly, and that includes refraining from impaired driving,” said Sharon Garry, of Hamilton County Safe Communities. “The holidays are a special time of year for many, and we want our community members to enjoy this season. We need commitment from drivers that they’ll keep the roads free of drunk drivers so that everyone can have a safe holiday. This enforcement period allows us to get the message out that drunk driving is illegal and it takes lives. Help us put an end to this senseless behavior,” she said.

Hamilton County Safe Communities, Hamilton County OVI Task Force and NHTSA are reminding citizens of the many resources available to get them home safely. “Drunk driving is not acceptable behavior,” said Lt. Jason Swartwout, OVI Task Force. “It is essential to plan a sober ride home before you ever leave for the party. There are too many resources to get you home safely. There are just no excuses for drunk driving,” he said.

Understand the Risks

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, higher insurance rates, and lost wages.

Sharon Garry 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 a ride service, or call a taxi or a sober friend to get home safely.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.
  • Do you 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 Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement period, visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.