Recently, data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that drunk driving deaths increased for the second straight year in 2016, the first such consecutive increase since 1963.

Drunk driving deaths by holiday time period.

Drunk driving deaths by holiday time period

But the bad news isn’t over. Now, we have crash fatality information available and broken down by holiday periods for 2016.

Several major holidays saw minor — if you consider the loss of even one innocent life minor — jump in drunk driving fatalities. Super Bowl Sunday witnessed 46 drunk driving deaths in 2016 and 42 deaths in 2015. On News Year’s Eve 2016, 33 people died. In 2015 on the same holiday, 29 people died.

Then, we had some dramatic, devastating jumps. Drunk driving deaths on St. Patrick’s Day increased to 48 from 22. The Fourth of July also saw a spike, increasing to 188 from 146.

Not all holidays increased. For Halloween 2016, 84 people died compared to 122 deaths in 2015. However, in 2015 the holiday fell on a Saturday whereas it occurred on a Monday for 2016. New YeaNHTSAholidayblogr’s Day dropped to 40 from 61. Ten fewer lives were lost on Memorial Day in 2016 compared to 2015.

Still, it’s difficult to be excited about fewer completely unnecessary deaths when we know all of the deaths were 100% preventable.

What MADD is doing to end this

MADD remains laser focused on the Campaign To Eliminate Drunk Driving, launched in 2006. The Campaign supports:

  • High-visibility law enforcement, such as sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols
  • State laws requiring ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk driving offenders
  • Development of advanced vehicle technology
  • Public support for eliminating drunk driving

“The holidays should be a time of coming together not of being torn apart by this disgusting, preventable and violent crime!” exclaimed MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church, “We must come together as a country to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ ”

Are you a victim?

We honor and remember the 10,497 people killed in 2016. Our hearts break for those impacted during what should be a time of celebration. That’s all Mothers Against Drunk Driving and its supporters can do for those killed between home and a quick trip to the gas station, after long family vacations, during the day and during the night, on our highways and on our backcountry roads.

But we stand up for the victims and supporters of this preventable crime. We demand change. And  we ask you to join us.

10,497

According to NHTSA, 37,461 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2016. Drunk driving was involved in 10,497 traffic fatalities. That number is growing. Drunk driving fatalities are up 1.7 percent over 2015 when 10,320 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes. The new data shows a 5.6 percent increase in overall traffic fatalities — up from 35,485 traffic fatalities in 2015. The overall traffic fatality increase of 8.4 percent in 2015 was the largest increase since 1964, and alcohol-related fatalities increased in 2015 by 3.2 percent.

“For the second year in a row, we are seeing increases in highway deaths. After years of decline — both overall and alcohol-related — the number is moving in the wrong direction. We cannot stand by while more families are left to pick up the pieces,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “Everyone needs to step up to find a solution to this national crisis.”

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The drunk driving solution 

We demand more “justice” in our justice system, more legislative solutions instead of excuses and more push back on the cultural complacency that calls these deaths “accidents.” The choice each of us face rights now is to accept these deaths and do nothing or to fight back.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving® has a roadmap that leads to a zero —zero drunk driving victims, zero grieving mothers and fathers and zero families devastated by this crime.

Ignition interlock laws are a key feature of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. The newly released NHTSA data shows a continued decline in states with ignition interlock laws. Thirty states and the District of Columbia have passed ignition interlock laws for all drunk driving offenders. MADD calls on every state to pass all-offender ignition interlock laws. We also need to improve existing laws to ensure all offenders use an ignition interlock as soon as possible after a drunk driving offense.

MADD also encourages every law enforcement agency to participate in NHTSA’s upcoming Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign to increase enforcement in December.

“While vehicle safety is improving, 94 percent of all traffic deaths are caused by human error,” Sheehey-Church said. “MADD is concerned that the trending increase in highway deaths points to a public health crisis that has largely gone unnoticed.”

Don’t let one more minute go by

It’s time to turn this around.

This country must come together to stop the wreckage. The families of the victims would give anything to have their loved ones back. Will you give $50 to fight drunk driving?

So much in this life is out of our control. Drunk driving isn’t one of them.

Don’t let one more minute go by

It’s time to turn this around.

This country must come together to stop the wreckage. The families of the victims would give anything to have their loved ones back. Will you give $50 to fight drunk driving?

So much in this life is out of our control. Drunk driving isn’t one of them.