According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving accidents claimed more than 10,200 lives in 2010 alone. Even worse, more than two-thirds of all drunk driving deaths were caused by drivers whose blood alcohol content was 0.15 or higher.
Nearly everyone understands that drunk driving is extremely dangerous. However, every year tens of thousands of drivers make the decision to disregard the lives of others and get behind the wheel after having had too much to drink.
In response to this epidemic, the NHTSA, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, local law enforcement officers, the National Center for DWI Courts and the Governors Highway Safety Association have teamed up to start a nationwide drunk driving awareness and enforcement program. Called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” the campaign started August 17 and will continue through Labor Day in all states, including New York.
In New York, the crackdown will involve alcohol checkpoints and increased police and highway patrol presence.
In addition to the current campaign, the NHTSA has been working with the National Center for DWI Courts. The two agencies helped to create new ignition interlock guidelines, which were released last month. The interlock system requires a driver to blow into a device that is installed on the vehicle’s dashboard. The device, like a breathalyzer, measures the blood alcohol level of the driver. If the blood alcohol level is too high, the vehicle will not start.
There is simply no excuse for drunk driving, especially considering all of the alternative transportation options available in New York City. If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, you have a right to hold that person accountable and seek compensation for the harm that has been done to you.