DES MOINES — The holiday season is known for being merry and bright, but it is also known for being the deadliest season when it comes to impaired driving. Iowa Law Enforcement across the state will partner with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) this holiday season to remove impaired drivers from the roads and help save lives. From December 17, 2021, to January 1, 2022, motorists will see an increased presence of law enforcement.

Sadly, the statistics prove that we have a lot of work to do to put an end to drunk driving. According to NHTSA, 10,142 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2019, accounting for nearly one-third of traffic crash fatalities. On average, more than 10,000 people were killed each year from 2015 to 2019 — one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 52 minutes in 2019. This is why Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau 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 holiday festivities, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

Sobering Statistics according to NHTSA:

o 837 people lost their lives nationally in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver during the month of December 2019.

o During the Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday periods in 2019 alone, there were more drunk-driving-related fatalities (210) than during any other holiday period that year.

o An OWI can cost you $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, repairs, and lost time at work!

o Don’t be the reason someone doesn’t get home this holiday season.

Always remember to plan ahead if you will be celebrating with an impairing substance. If you plan to indulge, plan for a sober driver to take you home. Call a taxi, friend or Uber! Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take the role seriously and do not partake in alcohol or any other drugs.

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