“Driving Impaired” Takes On New Meaning

Sgt. Tingey with the Utah Department of Public Safety explains some of the new changes.

The Zero Fatalities program encourages Utah drivers to avoid the following five deadly behaviors while driving:

o Drowsy Driving

o Distracted Driving

o Aggressive Driving

o Impaired Driving

o Not Buckling up

Impaired Driving: Alcohol and drugs may impair a person’s ability to concentrate, to make decisions, and causes a slow reaction time to the roadway environment. Alcohol and drugs, legal or not, may affect motor skills, reflexes, and judgment. All of these characteristics are needed to drive safely. Being impaired increases the potential to injure others and cause fatalities.
PREVENTION TIPS: The best way to survive a crash is to prevent it from happening in the first place.

• Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.

• Before drinking, please designate a sober driver and give that person your keys.

• If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member so you are sure to get home safely.

• If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement at 911.

More information regarding Zero Fatalities can be found by visiting: www.zerofatalities.com

Zero Fatalities Impaired Driving Fact Sheet

Every 39 minutes and nearly 40 times a day, someone in the United States dies in an impaired driving-related crash according to research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That is why the Utah Department of Public Safety, community health and law enforcement officials are reminding everyone this Fourth of July that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving and to designate a sober driver before the celebrations begin.

Alcohol is a major factor in fatal crashes during the July 4th holiday

• In 2006, 27 percent of all drivers involved in traffic related crashes during the Fourth of July holiday period (6:00PM FRIDAY, JUNE 30, 2006 TO 5:59 AM WEDNESDAY, JULY 5, 2006) possessed a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.

• During the July 4th holiday period there were a total of 659 traffic related fatalities. Out of that number, 37% involved a driver or motorcyclist with a BAC of .08 or higher.

• In 2006, 42,642 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Out of that number 13,470 people were killed in traffic crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcyclist with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.

Whether you’ve had way too many or just one too many, it’s not worth the risk. Impaired driving has serious consequences.

• Driving with a BAC of .08 or higher is illegal in every state. Yet too many people still ignore the law. According to the Utah Department of Public Safety in 2007, there were 15,061 DUI arrests in Utah; 2006 there were 14,384; and in 2005, 14,081 arrests;

• Costs from drinking and driving impaired do not just end at the potential death, disfigurement, disability and injury caused by, but people that break the law, often face jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, other fines and court costs, car towing and repairs, lost time at work, etc.

For more information, visit www.zerofatalities.com.

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