Prevent, Promote, and Protect your Health with the Lake County General Health District
(440) 350-2543
5966 Heisley Rd
Mentor, Ohio 44060
July 27, 2018
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July 27, 2018

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                                  CONTACT:  Jessica McCarthy (440) 350-2875
July 26, 2018                                                                                                       LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICT

This Labor Day, and Every Day: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Each year, Americans mark the end of summer with the Labor Day holiday weekend, a time to celebrate the hard work and many accomplishments of our country. Friends and families eagerly await pool parties, backyard barbecues, and other occasions to enjoy the last days of summer sunshine. Sadly, the Labor Day holiday has also become one of the deadliest, with drunk drivers endangering themselves and others on their way home from these holiday festivities. This year, Geauga Safe Communities Coalition is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to get drunk drivers off the roads and help save lives. The high-visibility national enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, runs from August 17 through September 3, 2018. During this period, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for drunk driving. Increased state and national messages about the dangers of driving impaired, coupled with enforcement and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce drunk driving on our nation’s roadways.

Geauga Safe Communities Coalition will be hosting a Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Kickoff event on August 18, 2018 at the Claridon Woodlands Opening Celebration from noon until 9:00 p.m. Come enjoy the live music, food trucks, and a special presentation put on by the Geauga Safe Communities Coalition.

Sadly, statistics prove that we have a lot of work to do to put an end to drunk driving. According to NHTSA, 10,497 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2016. On average, 10,000 people were killed each year from 2012 to 2016, with one person being killed every 50 minutes in 2016. That is the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year with no survivors. This is why Geauga Safe Communities Coalition is working with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death. As you head out to Labor Day festivities, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

Over the 2016 Labor Day holiday period (6:00 p.m. on September 2 – 5:59 a.m. September 6), there were 433 crash fatalities nationwide. Of the fatal crashes, more than one-third (36%) involved drivers who were drunk (.08+ blood alcohol concentration [BAC]), and one-fourth (25%) involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the legal limit (.15+ BAC). Age is a particularly risky factor: Among the drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 who were killed in crashes over the Labor Day holiday period in 2016, 47 percent of those fatalities involved drunk drivers with BACs of .08 or higher.

The Geauga Safe Communities Coalition recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:

  • Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride sharing service to get home safely.
  • Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android devices: (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nhtsa.SaferRide&hl=en), and Apple’s iTunes Store for iOS devices: (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saferride/id950774008?mt=8). SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
  • Use your community’s sober ride program
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call #677
  • Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

 

For more information about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact Jessica McCarthy at 440-350-2875 or jmccathy@lcghd.org.

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Marianne Rusnak
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