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As summer winds down, drive sober or get pulled over

As summer winds down, drive sober or get pulled over

Every 51 minutes in this country, another person is killed by a drunk driver. Mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, friends, loved ones. It's an unceasing procession of deaths, every single one of them preventable.

Here at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and throughout DOT, we do not accept this. And our friends in law enforcement will not allow it.

Starting today and running through Labor Day, law enforcement will be cracking down on drunk drivers. More than 10,000 police departments and law enforcement agencies across the country will join the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, supported in part by our safety partners, the Governors Highway Safety Association and MADD.

If you drive drunk, they will find you. They will arrest you. You will be prosecuted, and there will be serious and costly consequences for having risked others' lives.

Photo of Acting NHTSA Administrator David Friedman at Drive Sober launch event

Decades of empirical evidence --and tragic crashes-- make it clear: If you've been drinking, you shouldn't be driving.

As the families of the 10,322 people killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2012 will tell you, there's no, "I'm just buzzed," wiggle room; there's no, "I only live a mile away," rationalizing. Drunk driving is not a "mistake," and it's not "misjudgment."

It's a menace that kills and costs.

Infographic indicating that drunk driving crashes in 2010 cost society $195 billion
For more on the cost of motor vehicle crashes, visit NHTSA.gov

When someone makes the senseless and selfish choice to drink and drive, it represents a total disregard for the safety of everyone on the road.

It simply should not happen. If you can make a plan to drink with friends, then you can make a plan to get home safely -- without risking innocent lives.

Designate a driver. Take a cab--these days, a taxi is a few taps on your smartphone away. Or use your community’s Safe Ride Program. Take the train; take the bus.

If you've been drinking, do anything to get home that isn’t getting behind the wheel. Don't make one of the last wonderful days of summer the final tragic day or your life –or of someone else’s.

Remember—as summer winds down, drive sober or get pulled over.

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