Driving while intoxicated is one of the most common causes of serious and fatal car accidents in California. Sadly, it is also one of the most preventable. Hundreds of lives could be saved in California every year if drivers would take responsibility and refuse to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.
This summer, California law enforcement agencies are working with federal officials to help motorists make better choices about drinking and driving. Starting this weekend, the California Highway Patrol will be participating in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” program. The program runs through Labor Day weekend.
Both CHP and local law enforcement agencies will have extra patrols on the road during this period. The officers will be tasked with identifying and arresting as many impaired drivers as possible. Individuals convicted of driving while intoxicated could face penalties including jail time, license suspension or revocation, fines and ignition interlock requirements.
The campaign will certainly have a beneficial impact on highway safety throughout California. Even taking a few drivers off the road can make a huge difference.
In 2010 alone, 791 people died in California drunk driving car accidents. Nationwide, drunk driving claims an average of one life every 51 minutes.
Ending Drunk Driving Starts With You
The only way to prevent drunk driving accidents is to make a commitment never to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. The effects of alcohol can be extremely misleading; most people who get in trouble for drunk driving don’t realize how impaired they really are until it is too late. Often, all it takes is one extra drink to put you over the limit.
Source: Willows Journal, “Program joins with other agencies,” August 14, 2012.