This Memorial Day Weekend, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) and the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are teaming up with the Connecticut State Police and local law enforcement to remind the public about the dangers of drunk driving.
In Connecticut, in 2020, the last year of verifiable data, 123 people were killed in impaired driving crashes, which represents 40% of all fatal crashes in the state. In 2021, 13,384 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths in the United States, a 14% increase from 2020. According to NHTSA, about 37 people in the country die every day in drunk-driving crashes. That’s one person every 39 minutes.
“As we kick off the summer season this weekend, we need you to stay safe. Whether you’re attending a cookout, going to a parade, or gathering with friends and family at a home, remember to plan for a sober ride home. Do not drive impaired, as you may hurt or kill yourself or someone else on the road,” said Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto. “Our partners in Connecticut law enforcement agencies will participate in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over impaired driving campaign throughout the holiday weekend. They will be patrolling for impaired drivers across the state to keep people safe.”
“Highway safety is a top priority for Connecticut Troopers. Drivers operating under the influence of alcohol, cannabis or narcotics put themselves and everyone on our roadways at risk of injury or death,” said Colonel Stavros Mellekas, Commanding Officer of the Connecticut State Police. “DUI accidents are preventable. The importance of designating a driver or using a rideshare service can’t be emphasized enough in keeping Connecticut roads safe for everyone this weekend and always.”
“Police across Connecticut want this holiday to be safe and enjoyable for everyone,” said Watertown Police Chief and Chairman of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association Traffic Safety Committee Josh Bernegger. “We will be actively patrolling our roadways for impaired drivers, and we will enforce the law.”
Instead of drinking and driving, CTDOT recommends these safe alternatives:
- Designate a sober driver. Plan for a sober ride home. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, don’t risk it.
- Use a rideshare program or public transportation. Plan ahead, download the apps, and be aware of the transit schedules in your area.
- Be a good friend. If you see someone about to get behind the wheel impaired, take their keys away and find them a safe way home. They may be mad at you, but they will thank you later.
If someone witnesses a motorist driving erratically, slow down and move away from the vehicle. Please call 911 to report the issue when it is safe to do so.
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