During the holiday season, and year round, it is important that we celebrate safely by not driving under the influence of alcohol or any other drugs. We are all familiar with the terrible consequences of driving under the influence yet an often overlooked and ever growing issue, especially in teens and young adults, is the issue of drugged driving. Drugs, even those prescribed by a physician, can impair perception, judgment, motor skills, and memory.
New and young drivers are the most at-risk for crashes on the roads and are at risk for the most harmful effects of drug use. As teens take to the roads, parents can take action by talking about the dangers of drunk, drugged, and distracted driving. It’s important that our youngest drivers learn how to drive safely and make healthy choices.
Local Progress and Facts about Teen and adult Impaired Driving
- Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 51 minutes.
- Fewer teens (18% of teens in grade 9 & 11) reported this year that they had driven after drinking, or rode with someone who had. Down from 2012 when more than 35% of teens in same grades reported in they had driven after drinking or rode with someone who had. (California Healthy Kids Survey)
- In 2012, 10,322 ( increase from 2010 – 10,228) people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.(NHTSA)
In 2012, a total of 1,168 children age 14 and younger were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Of those 1,168 fatalities, 239 (20%) occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. Out of those 239 deaths, 124 (52%) were occupants of a vehicle with a driver who had a BAC level of .08 or higher, and another 38 children (16%) were pedestrians or pedalcyclists struck by drivers with BACs of .08 or higher.
- At all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of being involved in a crash is greater for young people than for older people.
- Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for 15 – 19 year-olds in 2007.
- Did you know that 1 in 3 drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2009 who were tested, tested positive for drugs?
“According to the data, 30% of all DUI arrests result in a finding of no alcohol, but, instead, the presence of pharmaceuticals. Only 10% of DUI arrests are alcohol-only events. This is a staggering number on the national level. Worse yet is the fact that law enforcement does not have the ability to confirm specific substances other than alcohol from the field without a blood or urine draw followed by an extended forensic process. Field tests and training are our best resource for the time being.” – Lincoln Police Chief, Rex Marks
Drunk and drugged driving related accidents are totally preventable.
Renew your commitment to drive safely and act responsibly.
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Holiday Treat: Join us in creating awareness about drinking responsibly and encourage hosts to offer delicious, non-alcoholic beverages to their guests. For adults, this is great way to model responsibility and demonstrate to youth that drinking alcohol is not necessary to have a good time. We know that this helps keep our streets safer through the Holidays.
The Holidays are the perfect time to introduce friends and family to the concept of Mocktails – visually appealing, non-alcoholic and delicious beverages to serve at parties, and to order while you are out on the town.
Click HERE for a list of recipes
Holiday Treat: CoRR, a Coalition partner, will be sponsoring Safe Taxi on New Year’s Eve again! Now in its fourth year of service, Safe Ride New Year’s Eve, is a joint effort between CoRR and Gold Country Cab & Courier to aid in the effort to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the roadways after celebrations.
Community Recovery Resources is teaming up with the owners of Gold Country Cab & Courier for the third year for Safe Taxi on New Year’s Eve sober cab rides. Looking back at the last 3 years, more than 150 local residents received free rides home to ensure a safe transport from their New Year’s celebrations. This year, we hope to see even more community members celebrating responsibly and not drinking and driving.