Drunk, impaired and drugged driving results in a death every thirty minutes. Digest this fact for a minute. Drunk and drugged driving is a choice, not an accident.

So how do you avoid drunk or drugged driving and still enjoy yourself? It requires a smooth blend of planning ahead and self-control. You can:

  • Avoid illegal drugs
  • Take prescription drugs as prescribed and heed the label warnings
  • Drink non-alcoholic drinks
  • Host a “mocktail” party instead of a cocktail party
  • Call a taxi
  • Rent a limousine for the evening
  • Drink in moderation and know your limits

December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month, but the drunk and drugged driving epidemic is a problem all year long. December holds the drunk and drugged driving campaign mainly because it is the season for celebration.

Drunk driving is a term and a condition that almost everyone is aware of. It’s taught in school, in driving courses and is seen on commercials and the news regularly. But what about drugged driving?

Drugged driving is more of a silent epidemic. Whether legal or illegal, drugs taken that alter the brain’s normal function create a drugged driving condition if you’re behind the wheel. The Center for Addiction and Mental Health explains it this way: You drive with your hands, eyes and feet controlling the vehicle, and your brain controls your hands, eyes and feet. You need to be alert, aware and able to make quick decisions. Drugged driving hinders that ability more than the drugged person realizes. The following article from The Justice Blog at the Department of Justice’s website explains more.

December is Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month

December 22nd, 2009 Posted by Tracy Russo

The post appears courtesy of The Office of Justice Programs

December’s designation as “National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month” is a reminder of the tragic consequences of alcohol and drug related auto crashes and deaths. Impaired driving is no accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) it’s a serious and deadly crime that kills every 30 minutes.

Because of the severe consequences of drunk and drugged driving, especially during the holiday season, it is important to have a coordinated, three-tiered approach involving federal, state, and personal commitment. NHTSA and its partners offer an array of toolkits and resources to help plan and implement comprehensive programs to make communities safer and healthier. Visit stopimpaireddriving.org for more information.

Within the Department of Justice, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides support to programs enforcing underage drinking laws. In 2009 OJP granted over $20 million to towards those efforts.

Federal and state agencies are working hard to reduce alcohol and drug related accidents—are you?

Prevent drunk and drugged driving by making responsible choices, such as:

  • Designate a sober driver
  • Host a party at home instead of at a restaurant or bar, and most importantly,
  • Hold your friends and family accountable.

“National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month” is about celebrating life; join the celebration by promoting drunk and drugged driving awareness in your community.

According to stopdruggeddriving.org, in a national survey, drugs were present more than 7 times as frequently as alcohol among weekend nighttime drivers in the United States. Drugged driving is rising in the ranks in other countries as well, with marijuana ranking first and cocaine second for the chosen drug.

The Institute for Behavior and Health estimates that:

  • 6,761 People died in 2009 as a result of Drugged Driving
  • 440,000 People were injured in car crashes as a result of Drugged Driving
  • $59.9 billion in costs every year are attributable to Drugged Driving

IBH also estimates that over 20% of motor vehicle accidents can be attributed to drugged driving. The numbers are harder to verify in drugged driving incidents as opposed to drunk driving accidents. The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can be measured easily and on the spot in drunk driving incidents, thanks to modern technology. Drugged driving accidents do not have a standard test to prove impairment.

In terms of curbing the drugged driving epidemic, we still have a long way to go. But campaigns such as December’s National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month are helping to bring awareness to the issue.

If you’ve been arrested in a drunk or drugged driving incident, the attorneys at Revelli & Luzzo in Worcester, Massachusetts can help. We have considerable experience in Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and many other criminal law cases. Contact us for a free consultation.