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National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month --- December 2004

Over 17,000 people are killed in alcohol related fatalities in the US every year. December is drunk and drugged driving prevention month. This week's (December 3, 2004) Morbitiy and Mortality Weekly has devoted its lead story to some of the statistics about this major social problem.

"December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month (3D Month), which is supported by public- and private-sector organizations devoted to preventing impaired-driving crashes. During 2003, alcohol-related motor-vehicle crashes accounted for nearly 40% of all traffic fatalities in the United States. Alcohol-related fatalities are those with any alcohol detected in blood specimens of drivers. During 1994--2003, the rate of fatalities in alcohol-related motor-vehicle crashes decreased 12%, from 6.7 to 5.9 per 100,000 population. A national health objective for 2010 is to reduce alcohol-related traffic fatalities to <4.0 per 100,000 population, a decline of 32% from 2003"

If you are wondering what can be done about it, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) mentions six things that can be done:

"To achieve the national health objective, communities need comprehensive and effective strategies to prevent alcohol-impaired driving. CDC has determined that carefully planned and well-executed mass media campaigns that attain sufficient audience exposure and are implemented in conjunction with other ongoing prevention activities are effective in reducing alcohol-impaired driving. Six other interventions determined to be effective include 1) sobriety checkpoints, 2) 0.08g/dL blood alcohol concentration laws, 3) minimum legal drinking age laws, 4) zero-tolerance laws for young or inexperienced drivers, 5) school-based approaches to reduce riding with drinking drivers, and 6) some types of server-intervention training programs. Comprehensive approaches that implement several interventions simultaneously will further reduce alcohol-impaired driving."

New York State is working on legislation that would make prison sentences mandatory for drunk drivers who kill someone.

As MADD members have said for years, "Remember drunk driving crashes are no 'accident', they are a violent crime!"

Link: National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month --- December 2004.


JoAnna Kelleher

Amen! I've been sober 8+ years!

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