Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign Begins: National Data Shows Startling Drunk Driving Statistics

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The drunk driving epidemic in this country has reached new heights, and it is very apparent now with the start of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over national campaign. Mercer County car accident attorneys, Console & Hollawell want to ensure that people are aware of the very real dangers occurring on New Jersey roads and throughout the country with regards to driving while intoxicated.

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If you are drunk to the point where your BAC is two times the legal limit there is absolutely no reason for this dangerous behavior to be tolerated.

The drunk driving epidemic in this country has reached new heights, and it is very apparent now with the start of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA)* Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over national campaign. Mercer County car accident attorneys, Console & Hollawell want to ensure that people are aware of the very real dangers occurring on New Jersey roads and throughout the country with regards to driving while intoxicated.

The NHTSA highlighted that in 2010, 70 percent of fatal accidents that involved alcohol had drivers with blood alcohol levels that doubled the legal limit. Drunk driving fatalities reached an astronomical 10,228 deaths in 2010, which meant that one in every three traffic deaths involved an intoxicated driver.

In a report released this month, the NHTSA explained that, “Targeting drivers in the final weeks of summer through the Labor Day holiday weekend, NHTSA's annual ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ crackdown is focused on reducing the tragic toll caused by impaired drivers every year.”
The issue with not just driving drunk, but driving extremely drunk was also seen in New Jersey. In 2010, 116 people involved in fatal crashes had a BAC of .11 or higher—nearly seven times the amount of people that had a BAC of .08 - .10 (17), according to the New Jersey State Police**.

New Jersey car accident attorney, Richard P. Console, Jr. has seen the impacts of this reckless behavior time and time again, and wonders why people continue to make the negligent decision to drive while under the influence.

“There is nothing good that can come of it,” Console said. “Driving while intoxicated is dangerous enough, but if you are drunk to the point where your BAC is two times the legal limit there is absolutely no reason for this dangerous behavior to be tolerated. Furthermore, where are these people consuming alcohol to get drunk to that degree? Surely these individuals should not have been served that much alcohol.”

The report went on to explain that across the country more than 10,000 police departments and law enforcement agencies across the nation will be redoubling their efforts to catch drunk drivers during this period. They explained that through the crackdown and advertising efforts during this campaign they want to “convey the message that law enforcement officers are both omnipresent and vigilant in deterring drunk drivers.”

Unfortunately it seems that the trend of driving more than two times over the legal limit is continuing in 2012, as was seen with a July crash that killed a Mercer County Corrections officer. The accident occurred on Route 13 when Matthew Carter, who was driving under the influence and speeding, crashed into the car driven by Paul Labranche, according to a Times*** report. Labranche and his passenger were ejected from their vehicle and both succumbed to their injuries. It was reported in court that Carter’s BAC came back as being .22 at the scene of the crash. He was charged with vehicular homicide while driving under the influence, reckless endangerment, involuntary manslaughter, vehicular homicide, DUI, unsafe driving, following too closely, careless driving, and reckless driving, according to the Times article.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over “crackdown” started August 17 and runs through Labor Day Weekend across the nation.

The attorneys at Console & Hollawell, P.C. have been representing drunk driving accident victims throughout New Jersey for the last two decades. They are committed to educating the public at large about the serious issues with intoxicated drivers on our roadways and throughout the nation.

*http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/2012/DOT+Kicks+Off+Nationwide+Crackdown+on+Drunk+Driving,+Warns+Public+to+'Drive+Sober+or+Get+Pulled+Over';

**http://njsp.org/info/fatalacc/2010_fatal_crash_101711.pdf

***http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2012/07/arrest_made_in_crash_that_kill.html

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