Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is urging everyone to make a plan for a designated driver before Halloween weekend begins. MADD is concerned anytime a holiday falls on a weekend when the risk of drunk driving deaths and injuries is higher.
“If you plan to consume alcohol or any other drugs, the safest choice you can make is to decide who your non-drinking, unimpaired driver will be at the same time you’re planning for your costume or party,” said MADD New England Region Executive Director, Bob Garguilo. “The key is to plan your ride before there is even an opportunity to find yourself in a dangerous situation, putting your life and the lives of others at risk.”
Drunk driving is the leading cause of death and injuries on our nation’s roads, killing more than 10,000 people every year and injuring 300,000 more. Drivers are increasingly testing positive for other impairing substances and multiple substances. According to NHTSA, between 2009 and 2018 the presence of marijuana nearly doubled in drivers who were killed in crashes and were tested for marijuana. Of fatally injured drivers who were tested for the presence of drugs in 2018, 46% tested positive.
It is a crime to drive under the influence of alcohol and other drugs – legal and illegal – in every state, and drunk or drug-impaired driving poses a threat to the driver, passengers and everyone else on the road. Marijuana, for example, has been shown to slow reaction times, impair cognitive performance and make it more difficult for drivers to keep a steady position in their lane. Combining marijuana with alcohol is even more dangerous.
“Early estimates for 2020 and 2021 are showing an increase in deaths and injuries caused by impaired driving and other dangerous driving behaviors like speeding and not using seatbelts. All of these tragedies are 100% preventable. We are asking everyone to do their part,” Otte said.
Tips for a safe Halloween:
• Plan ahead and designate a non-drinking, unimpaired driver, use rideshare or public transportation.
• Always wear your seatbelt and make sure your passengers are wearing theirs.
• Never get into a car with an impaired driver or put yourself in a situation where you don’t feel safe.
• If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement immediately.
• If you witness someone who is about to drive impaired, attempt to stop them but be as a non-confrontational as possible. Enlist the help of others, if possible. Call law enforcement if attempts to stop them from driving fail.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 400,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.