Drive Safe this Holiday Season

The Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County and the Grass Valley Police Department would like to remind you to commit to keep our community safe this holiday season, don’t drink and drive.  Always have a designated driver, call a friend or a cab.

The good news is that there has been a steady decline in the rate of alcohol-related deaths on the nation’s highways during the holidays. Statistics gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that in 1982, there were more than 2,600 deaths due to drinking and driving — accounting for 60 percent of all accident fatalities. Recent years, however, have witnessed about 1,200 fatalities, or roughly 40 percent.

Take Steps To Protect Yourself And Others

Even with the steady decline in fatalities, the number of drivers with DWI arrests is on the rise. It is estimated that there are as many as two million drunk drivers with three or more convictions and more than 400,000 with five or more DWI convictions still behind the wheel. Here are five steps you can take to help avoid becoming a statistic:

1. If you drink, don’t drive no matter how little you think you’ve had.

2. Don’t let someone you know get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking.

3. Avoid driving during early and late evening hours on holidays.

4. If you must drive, be cautious and watch for the erratic movements of drunken drivers.

5. Immediately report suspected drunk drivers to the police.

Drinking & Driving Facts:

  • Deaths from drinking and driving spike around the holidays, with alcohol being blamed for about 52 percent of fatal collisions on Christmas and 57 percent on New Years compared to a rate of 41 percent for the entire year.
  • More than 1,200 alcohol-related deaths will occur on the road this holiday season
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 25,000 people will be injured in alcohol related incidents.
  • One in three people will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetime.
  • Teen alcohol use kills about 6000 people each year, more than all illegal drugs combined.
  • Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and one out of three of those is alcohol related.
  • Drunk driving costs each adult in this country almost $500 per year.