Drive Merry, Bright, and Sober This Holiday Season: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
This holiday season, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is sharing the message about the dangers of drunk driving. From December 18, 2020, through January 1, 2021, 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 we have a lot of work to do to put an end to drunk driving. According to NHTSA, 10,511 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2018. On average, more than 10,000 people were killed each year from 2014 to 2018 — one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 50 minutes in 2018. As you head out to the holiday festivities, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
During the month of December 2018, 839 people lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver. 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 — alcohol or other drugs — is deadly, illegal, and selfish behavior.
To address the problem of impaired driving and other risks associated with high-risk drinking, Student Health Promotion is proud to announce the receipt of a $14,399 grant to participate in the Georgia Young Adult Program (GYAP) of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS). The GOHS Young Adult Program addresses young adult driver crashes, injuries and fatalities and partners with colleges and universities throughout the state to implement the GYAP. This program has proven to be successful using strategies such as peer education, providing educational speakers to schools, and encouraging schools to develop creative, innovative techniques to reduce young adult crashes, injuries and fatalities in their communities.
The grant year for this award is October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021 and will include several initiatives on campus including a car simulator provided students an opportunity to experience impairment while drinking, participation in the “pour a drink” activity, along with the “drinking clock”. Students can complete online self-assessments associated with their alcohol and drug use, confidentially, through: Alcohol EcheckUp To Go, Marijuana EcheckUp To Go, and the Mindwise Screening. The online programs include local and national resources to assist students that are concerned about alcohol and drug use, among themselves or others. For information about Student Health Promotion services, follow us on our social media @BeWellGSU #GamePlanGSU on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Student Health Promotion recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving, encouraging everyone to have a #GamePlanGSU to stay safe:
- 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 service to get home safely.
- If available, use sober ride share programs.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local your local law enforcement by dialing 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.
Remember: If you drive drunk, you may lose money, your reputation, your car, and even your life. Everyone should know by now that it is illegal to drive impaired. Even still, thousands die each year in drunk-driving-related crashes. In 2018, there were 10,511 people killed in drunk-driving crashes. The costs can be financial, too: If you’re caught drinking and driving, you can 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 wages.
For more information on this grant program, contact GOHS at 404-656-6996 and for more information on GOHS and its other highway safety programs, visit www.gahighwaysafety.org.