You Drink & Drive "You Lose"

  • Published
  • By 97th Air Mobility Wing
  • Safety Office
With more people expected to be traveling on roadways this Labor Day holiday, "our message is simple - You Drink & Drive. You Lose." "We encourage anyone planning on drinking alcohol to be responsible and designate a sober driver.

Impaired driving is one of America's most often committed and deadliest crimes. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Report, more than 1.4 million people nationwide were arrested in 2003 for driving under the influence. Statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 2004 show that nearly 13,000 people died in highway crashes involving a driver with an illegal blood-alcohol concentration level of 0.08 or higher.

"Driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 and above is illegal in every state, violators will be spending their money on bail, court, lawyers and towing fees instead of on the last days of their summer vacation. Refuse a sobriety test in many jurisdictions and you can lose your license on the spot and have your car impounded."

Studies from NHTSA show that Americans support tougher enforcement and consider drunk driving an important social issue, ahead of health care, poverty, the environment and gun control. Nearly 97 percent of Americans view drinking and driving by others as a threat to their families and themselves. The majority of Americans also support increased enforcement efforts like sobriety checkpoints to protect innocent victims from impaired drivers.

NHTSA's data also shows that motorcycle operators have the highest incidence of drunk driving-related fatal crashes. In 2003, motorcycles accounted for 29 percent, light trucks for 22 percent, passenger cars for 22 percent and large trucks for 1 percent of all fatal crashes where a driver had a BAC level of 0.08 and above. Furthermore, almost half (44 percent) of the 1,501 motorcycle operators who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2003 were intoxicated.

Plan ahead. "If you find it hard to figure out if you've had too much alcohol to drive - don't risk it. Most likely if you're feeling 'buzzed,' you're impaired, and if you drive, law enforcement will be out in force to catch you."

Safety reminds everyone:
o Be responsible and don't risk it ... you will be caught.
o If you plan to drink, choose a designated driver before going out.
o Take mass transit, a taxicab, or ask a sober friend to drive you home.
o Spend the night where the activity is being held.
o Report impaired drivers to law enforcement.
o Always buckle up - it's your best defense against an impaired driver.