The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released new data today showing 10,322 drunk driving fatalities in 2012—compared to 9,865 in 2011.
Last year, we celebrated a milestone when drunk driving deaths fell below 10,000, so this news is incredibly disappointing. For the first time in six years, drunk driving deaths have increased. And not just by a little – by almost five percent.
NHTSA also announced that overall traffic fatalities increased to 33,561, which is a 3.3 percent increase from last year. So the fact that drunk driving deaths increased at an even higher rate is extremely alarming. It shows us that there is an urgent need to vigilantly take action to eliminate drunk driving and double-down on drunk driving countermeasures that are proven to work through the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving.
It’s time for every state across the country to pass laws to require all convicted drunk drivers to use an ignition interlock device. To date, 20 states have passed such laws and have seen significant decreases in drunk driving deaths.
As we approach the holiday season, a time when drunk driving fatalities spike, MADD stands with our heroes in law enforcement as they conduct more sobriety checkpoints in conjunction with NHTSA’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. MADD urges everyone to plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver.
You can help make 2014 a banner year in the fight against drunk driving by becoming a MADD volunteer, or making a donation in honor and memory of those we’ve lost and in hope of a brighter future.