FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2022
Contact: Beth Cefalu, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512
December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month
NEW CITY, NY, – Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert announce that December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. This joyous month of the year, when we get together with friends and family to celebrate holidays, is also a deadly month due to impaired driving.
According to The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA), in 2019, 210 lives were lost during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes. Approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers (with blood alcohol concentrations [BACs] of .08 or higher). In New York State (NYS), it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. However, even a small amount of alcohol can affect driving ability. In 2020, there were 4,503 people killed or injured in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in NYS.
Stay safe and save lives by following these safety steps from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- 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 service to get home safely.
- If someone you know has been drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Take their keys and help them arrange a sober ride home. If you’re hosting a party where alcohol will be served, make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
- If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement. Your actions could help save someone’s life.
“Do not drink and drive and put the lives of those around you at risk,” said County Executive Ed Day. “Law enforcement will be out, as always, in force during the holidays to remove irresponsible drivers choosing to drive drunk and endanger innocent lives.”
“As we come together this holiday season, educate yourself and others on the risks of driving while impaired and take steps to stay safe. Just a single drink can cause a decline in visual function, mental judgment, and motor skills, resulting in driver impairment. Driving while impaired not only can result in driver’s license revocation, fines, and jail time, but you can also be involved in a traffic crash that causes serious injury or death. Before you go out, always have a plan that includes a safe ride! Remember to always wear your seat belt; it’s your best defense against impaired drivers,” said Dr. Ruppert.
During the holiday season, the STOP-DWI “Impaired Driving Enforcement Operations” Program is in full force until January 1, 2022. Law enforcement agencies from across Rockland County, along with the New York State Police, will be on patrol enforcing DWI-related offenses. Impaired driving is completely preventable. You can help to make a difference by Having a Sober Plan! Download the STOP-DWI “Have A Plan” mobile app to find a safe ride home at www.stopdwi.org/mobileapp.
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