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NHTSA launches holiday campaign to stop drunk driving

The holidays are a joyous time for loved ones to get together and celebrate. Many of these celebrations end in tragedy due to drunk driving. The last week of December and first week of January are some of the most dangerous times to be out on the roads. In 2015, over 10,000 people died in drunk driving accidents. From 6 p.m. December 24, 2015 to 5:59 a.m. December 28, 2015, over 120 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. The New Year's holiday was also devastating with 139 people killed in drunk driving car accidents from 6 p.m. December 31, 2014 to 5:59 a.m. January 5, 2015.

This is why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is focusing on keeping motorists safe this holiday season. The NHTSA's "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign" uses advertisements, new technology and extra patrolling to prevent as many drunk driving deaths as possible.

For example, the campaign includes "Last Call 360," a virtual experience that allows people to enter a virtual bar and learn about drunk driving. Another part of the campaign involves the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety. This new technology can passively determine a driver's blood alcohol level and stop a driver from driving if they are over the legal limit. According to Federal officials, $5.1 million will be devoted to furthering this technology. Lastly, the SaferRide app developed by the NHTSA allows drivers to call a cab or a friend before driving home.

The NHTSA and safety officials nationwide recognize that drunk driving accidents are preventable and that countless lives can be saved by getting the word out about the consequences of drunk driving.

Source: EHS Today, "NHTSA Kicks Off Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign for the Holidays," Stefanie Valentic, Dec. 19, 2016

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