For more than 40 years, December has been designated as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Impairment comes in many forms and is easiest to describe as anything that prevents from performing a task as you normally would. We are all well aware of the dangers of drunk driving. Crashes caused by drivers impaired by alcohol and drugs are responsible for over 10,000 deaths each year. Alcohol has long been the largest contributed to that number, however with the legalization of marijuana; there may have been a change. Some studies are showing that crashes caused by marijuana use have caused more deaths than those involving alcohol. There are also plenty of instances where both have been found in the system of the driver. Alcohol and marijuana are not the only things that cause impairment. Other drugs can also cause impairment, even over the counter medicines when not used correctly. Simply put, you should not get behind the wheel if you aren’t able to operate it to the best of your abilities.
December is a very important time to relay the message of the program. With the holiday season upon us, there are a lot of people out on the road to visit families. There are also a lot of people enjoying time with their families by having some drinks. This combination can become fatal if some responsibility is not added in. This is where the goal of the STOP-DWI program comes in. It is not the goal to try to prevent people of legal drinking age from enjoying a couple drinks with family, but it is about making sure that everyone out on the road can get home safely. The “Have A Plan” mobile app was created to help with this situation. You can download it here, http://stopdwi.org/mobileapp, and it can take you through the steps of how to get home safely. Whether that plan involves getting a ride from a friend, or calling for a ride from elsewhere, we want everyone to easily be able to get home alive.
Please be safe this time of year, and all year long. Be responsible, have a plan, and make it home alive. For more information on the STOP-DWI program, visit http://stopdwi.org.
National Impaired Driving Prevention Month with New York State Trooper James O’Callaghan in the 585 Prevention Podcast.
Remember Prevention Works!