Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Nebraska, Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office and the Nebraska State Patrol are kicking off the 2012 holiday crackdown on drunk driving with a sobering reminder for Nebraska residents to plan ahead for a safe way home if they’re planning to drink alcohol during the season’s festivities. MADD’s annual Tie One On For Safety® campaign, sponsored by National Presenting Sponsor Nationwide Insurance, urges drivers to display a red ribbon on their cars in support of law enforcement crackdown efforts and as a pledge to drive safe, sober and buckled up.
Data shows that the time period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day includes some of the most dangerous days for drunk driving deaths, and the national numbers are getting worse in recent years - as annual drunk driving deaths have decreased, there has been an increase in the proportion of drunk driving deaths around the holidays. On average in 2010, 31 percent of highway fatalities were caused by drunk driving. However, fatalities dramatically spike over the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays:
· The proportion of people killed in drunk driving crashes (.08 BAC and above) over the Thanksgiving holiday (includes the day before and the weekend following Thanksgiving) spiked by 30% in 2010 compared with the rest of the year.
· The proportion of drunk driving deaths over the Christmas holiday (includes Christmas Eve and the surrounding holiday weekend) in 2010 increased by 14% compared with two years prior.
· New Year’s Day is the single most dangerous day of the year, with 78 drunk driving deaths in 2010 - an 178 percent increase over any other average day.
“These aren’t just numbers to those of us at MADD Nebraska who see on a daily basis the heartache and devastation caused by drunk driving crashes. These are family, friends, co-workers and neighbors,” said Andrea Frazier, MADD Nebraska. “That’s why we’re urging Nebraska residents to Tie One On For Safety and plan ahead for a sober designated driver if they are going to celebrate with alcohol.”
MADD’s Tie One On For Safety red ribbon campaign, now in its 26th year, is the organization’s signature public awareness project. Drivers display MADD red ribbons on their vehicles as a reminder to drive safe and sober, and in support of Nebraska’s law enforcement officers, who will be out in force as part of the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.
MADD’s Tie One On For Safety red ribbons are available at area HyVee Stores and at the MADD Nebraska State Office. For more information visit www.madd.org/ne.
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