August is the peak of the summer vacation season with trips to western Massachusetts, the Lakes and the Cape and Islands. If you’re celebrating with barbecues and beach picnics, schedule a sober driver or use a ride-sharing service. The National Enforcement Mobilization for Disabled Drivers in 2022”Ride sober or let yourself be carried awayr” is effective nationwide from August 17 to September 5, 2022. It focuses on law enforcement and their goal of stopping drunk drivers, while also highlighting a constant police presence looking for drunk drivers to discourage people from drinking and driving. One of the deadliest and most common—yet preventable—crimes (unfit to drive) has been a serious security epidemic in the Bay State and across the country.
During the Labor Day holiday, which encompasses the end of summer and the long holiday weekend, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) works with law enforcement agencies to reduce disruption to driving. NHTSA and local law enforcement want drivers to understand the importance of planning ahead during the holiday weekend when alcohol is involved. NHTSA shares some Labor Day statistics for drivers, along with the consequences that drunk driving could pose:
- During the 2020 Labor Day holiday, 38% of road accident fatalities involved a drunk driver.
- During the 2020 Labor Day holiday, there were 530 fatalities across the country. 46% of those fatalities involved drunk drivers.
- Among drivers between the ages of 21 and 43 who died in crashes during the 2020 Labor Day holiday season, 44% of those drivers were intoxicated and had BACs of 0.08 or greater.
- On average, a DUI can net you $10,000 in attorney fees, fines, court costs, lost work time, higher insurance rates, and more.
- If you are caught driving and drinking, you face jail time.
- Drinking and driving can result in losing your driver’s license and vehicle.
Always remember to plan ahead while enjoying the end of summer and the Labor Day holiday weekend. NHTSA offers some advice for those navigating the roads:
- Remember that drinking and driving is never okay. Even if you’ve only had one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transit or a car service to get you home safely.
- If available, use your community’s Sober Ride program.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement agency.
- Take away the keys from all friends who have been drinking and want to drive. Take precautions to get your friends home safely.
MassDOT’s Highway Assistance Program, sponsored by MAPFRE Insurance, is on patrol year-round to help. Patrol officers patrol some of the state’s busiest freeways around Metro Boston, Worcester, Springfield and Cape Cod (seasonal). The Highway Assistance Patrol covers 13 major state roads and freeways, the Emergency Service Patrol covers the Mass Pike (I-90) from New York to Boston, and the Incident Response Operators cover the Metropolitan Highway System and tunnels. The motorway control center is on duty Monday to Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. During the holidays, there are long stretches in busy areas. Assistance is provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on I-90 and in the Boston tunnel system.
Your friends at MAPFRE Insurance