Two of the most celebrated dates in December – Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve – are also among the most dangerous. In 2018, drunk driving crashes claimed 108 lives in those two days alone, accounting for nearly half of total traffic deaths.
That is why Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is teaming up with law enforcement agencies across the country throughout the month of December, which has been recognized as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month for the 39th consecutive year.
During December 2018, 839 people died in alcohol-related crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While drunk driving deaths typically represent around a third of all traffic fatalities, that increased to nearly 50 percent on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31.
On Dec. 25, 2018, 35 people died in drunk driving crashes.
This is staggering.
The pain caused by one person’s choice to drive impaired is often permanent. Every single death left a permanent empty seat at the table and turned a time of celebration into tragedy.
And every single death was 100 percent preventable.
We’re asking everyone to take personal responsibility this holiday season by making a plan for a safe ride home before your celebrations begin. Designate a non-drinking, unimpaired driver. Take a taxi, a bus, or a train. Use a rideshare app like Uber. If you’re a host, provide an alternative to your guests, such as festive, non-alcoholic drinks offered by our partner Mocktail Beverages.
You can also show your commitment to drive sober by displaying one of our Tie One On for Safety red ribbons or magnetic decals on your vehicle, which are available at our local MADD offices around the country.
Drunk driving crashes increase throughout the month of December as more people travel and attend events where alcohol is served. That is why every U.S. President since Ronald Reagan has proclaimed December National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. President Donald Trump continued in that tradition this month, reaffirming his administration’s commitment to prevent tragedies by making the decision to drive sober.
The proclamation also remembers victims of impaired driving, offers prayers for grieving families impacted by these tragedies and honors law enforcement who are on the front lines of the violent, preventable crime of impaired driving.
Visit madd.org/toofs to find out more about our Tie One On for Safety campaign and to get one of our iconic red decals.