The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently implemented a crackdown on drunk driving in the State of New Mexico and across the country. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign began on August 17th and is scheduled to last throughout the Labor Day weekend. According to the NHTSA, impaired or inebriated driving killed more than 10,000 people across the country in 2010, including 147 individuals over Labor Day weekend alone. In all 50 states and Puerto Rico, drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher are considered to be impaired.
As part of the campaign, law enforcement agencies across the nation are engaging in both publicity campaigns and high-visibility enforcement of state drunk driving laws. According to the NHTSA, sobriety checkpoints, a lager law enforcement presence, and an effective educational campaign are being implemented in order to increase awareness regarding the often fatal consequences of driving while intoxicated.
In response, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) issued a statement in support of the NHTSA’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over safety campaign. According to MADD, nearly 40 percent of all traffic deaths involve a drunk or impaired driver. The organization’s President, Jan Withers, stated efforts such as the current safety campaign have been shown to reduce impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. MADD also reportedly expressed its support for a new federal transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, designed to reduce or eliminate drunk driving. The organization has agreed to provide $29 million for high-visibility impaired driving crackdowns during each of the next three years.
MADD encouraged anyone who plans on celebrating the upcoming Labor Day weekend with alcohol to plan ahead and designate a driver or make other transportation arrangements. According to Withers, 100 percent of all drunken driving fatalities could be eliminated simply by planning ahead.
Alcohol-related accidents are common in New Mexico. Sadly, everyone who travels on the roadways in our state is placed at risk whenever a drunk or impaired driver chooses to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. The victim of an impaired driver may file a claim for any damages he or she incurs as a result of a drunken driving accident. If you a loved one were hurt by an impaired or inebriated driver, you should contact a capable New Mexico drunk driving attorney as soon as you are able.