DETROIT (WWJ) – As Americans pop the cork on New Year’s Eve celebrations this weekend, AAA cautions partygoers against getting behind the wheel after the champagne toast.
According to a recent analysis conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, during the last decade, the years’ highest number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities occur on New Year’s Day.
While the holidays make for a timely reason to raise the visibility of alcohol-related fatalities, AAA also continues to spread the message to not drink and drive in response to feedback from its members who cite impaired driving as one of their greatest safety concerns. And they’re not alone.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index reveals that 97 percent of drivers consider impaired driving to be unacceptable. Despite that fact, Americans continue to drink and drive. Alcohol-impaired drivers make up about one-third of motor vehicle deaths.
AAA reminds motorists of the true costs of impaired driving: It can cost you your life. In 2009, 10,839 people lost their lives in alcohol-related traffic crashes. That’s about one death every 48 minutes.
But, alcohol-related traffic crashes don’t only affect the impaired driver. One third of alcohol-involved traffic fatalities are passengers, occupants in other vehicles or pedestrians.
A first-time DUI conviction can result in a six-to 12-month jail sentence, more for repeat offenders and for impaired drivers who injure or kill someone in a crash. Monitoring bracelets, ignition interlock equipment, license revocation and probation also place restrictions on your life.
Find more information at PreventDUI.AAA.com.