How often have you seen someone driving down the road that you were pretty sure was drunk, or at least driving dangerously? Haven't you said to yourself, "I wish a police officer was here to see this and pull this guy over!"
Now, you can be the one on the spot. Now, as you travel California's streets and highways, you can do something to help get drunk drivers off the road.
The Office of Traffic Safety, California Highway Patrol, Department of Motor Vehicles, Caltrans, Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and local law enforcement want everyone to drive safely and responsibly. Always designate a sober driver, and if you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911. The public can use the emergency number to report and help the CHP identify drunk drivers before it is too late.
To reinforce these efforts to reduce alcohol-involved crashes, OTS has created the designed driver very important person program (“DDVIP”) to reward those who volunteer to be designated sober drivers. We are partnering with local bars and restaurants that offer rewards for designated drivers, like non-alcoholic specialty drinks (“DDrinks”). We have a list of “DDrinks” on our Facebook page.
The Cost of Drunk Driving
- Approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers (with blood alcohol concentrations [BACs] of .08 of higher). In 2013, there were 10,076 people killed in these preventable crashes.
- In 2013, approximately 1 in 5 child (12 and younger) passenger deaths were in drunk-driving crashes. Seventy-one percent of the time, it was the child’s own driver who was drunk.
- Of those child passengers killed while riding with a drunk driver, 44 percent weren’t buckled up at the time of the crash.
- In addition to the human toll drunk driving takes on our country, the financial impact is devastating as well: based on 2010 numbers (the most recent year for which cost data is available), impaired-driving crashes cost the United States $49.8 billion annually.
Zero Tolerance, One Goal: No Fatalities.
- In every state it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, yet one person is killed in a drunk-driving crash every 52 minutes in the United States.
- Of the 10,076 people killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2013, 65 percent were the drunk drivers themselves.
- In fatal crashes during the month of August over the five-year period of 2009-2013, almost 1 out of 10 (8%) of the drunk drivers involved had one or more previous convictions for drunk driving.
- Men are more likely than women to be driving drunk in fatal crashes. In 2013, 23 percent of males were drunk in these crashes, compared to 15 percent for females.
- Drunk driving is more common at night. Half of all the fatalities during the nighttime (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) involved drunk drivers, as compared to 14 percent during the day.
- Among the drivers between the ages of 18 and 34, 45 percent of those fatalities involved a drunk driver with a BAC of .08 or higher.
- Motorcycle riders have the highest overall rate of alcohol impairment in fatal crashes. In 2013, 27 percent of the motorcycle riders killed were driving impaired.