NEW ORLEANS – With New Orleanians and visitors celebrating Mardi Gras year, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the NOPD wants to remind everyone about the dangers of drinking and driving.
From February 5-16, NHTSA will join with the NOPD to spread the word about impaired driving dangers and to work together to get drunk drivers off the roads and help save lives through the high-visibility national enforcement campaign, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” During this period, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for drunk driving. Increased state and national messages about the dangers of drunk driving, coupled with law enforcement and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce drunk driving on our nation’s roadways.
Sadly, the statistics prove that we have a lot of work to do to put an end to drunk driving. According to NHTSA, 10,511 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2018. On average, 10,000 people were killed each year from 2014 to 2018 — one person was killed in drunk-driving crashes every 50 minutes in 2018. That’s the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors. This is why the NOPD 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 the Labor Day festivities, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
“We want to see Labor Day celebrated, but celebrated safely,” NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said. “We need commitment from our community members that they’ll keep the streets free of drunk drivers so that everyone can have a safe holiday. This is a campaign to get the message out that drunk driving is illegal and it takes lives. Help us protect the community and put an end to this senseless behavior.”
The NOPD and NHTSA are reminding citizens of the many resources available to get them home safely.
“Drunk driving is not acceptable behavior,” Ferguson said. “It is essential to plan a sober ride home before you ever leave for the party. That’s why, during the Labor Day holiday, we will make zero exceptions for drunk driving. There are just no excuses.”
The NOPD 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 service to get home safely.
- If available, use a sober ride home program.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact the NOPD.
- 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.
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