National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month

by Gwen Newell

Since 1981, the month of December has been proclaimed National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month or National Impaired Driving Prevention Month and since the holiday season has a higher crash rate than others on average, it’s important to reinforce how imperative it is to be sober and in an appropriate state behind the wheel.

While North Carolina roads are already dangerous enough without impaired drivers, there’s seemingly no getting rid of the threat. According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, there were 247,214 alcohol-related crashes last year – with 1,658 alcohol-related fatalities. This year, we want you to stay safe during the holidays.

Here’s a timeline of what it has taken to promote the importance of staying sober while driving during the month of December. In 1980, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) founder Candy Lightner challenged legislators to take drunk driving seriously. By 1990, the Supreme Court ruled that police sobriety checks on public roads are, in fact, constitutional. Then, in July of 2004, the limit was set and all 50 states adopted .08 as the legal blood alcohol limit. And finally, on July 3, 2014, Rep. Nita Lowey sponsored national legislation requiring car ignition interlocks.

This holiday season, as we celebrate all the festivities that December brings, please stop and think about being responsible.

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