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New Year’s Ranks as Deadliest Day for Drivers

New Year’s Day consistently ranks as the year’s deadliest day for alcohol-related fatalities. In an effort to protect the public against drunk drivers and reduce alcohol-related traffic deaths, AAA is announcing its support of ignition interlocks for all convicted DUI offenders, and offers important safety advice to partygoers.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s 2012 Traffic Safety Culture Index:

  • More than 90 percent of drivers consider it a serious threat to their personal safety when others drink and drive.
  • 97 percent of motorists find it unacceptable for a driver to get behind the wheel when they’ve had too much to drink.
  • Nearly 80 percent of Americans support requiring ignition interlock devices (IIDs) for all convicted DUI offenders, even if it’s their first conviction.

Ohio Drunk Driving Statistics

Alcohol contributed to 12,880 crashes and 368 deaths on Ohio’s roads in 2011. More alcohol-related crashes occurred in December than any other month. New Year’s proved especially dangerous, with 64 alcohol-related crashes on Dec. 31, 2011 and 103 alcohol-related crashes on Jan. 1, 2012.

Ignition Interlock Devices

Research has identified IIDs as a proven way to save lives. These devices have also been proven effective at reducing re-arrest among convicted drunk drivers and at keeping impaired drivers off the road.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently announced its support for laws requiring IID use for all first-time DUI offenders.

“Technologies, such as ignition interlocks, will reduce alcohol-related crashes on our nation’s roadways,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. “We look forward to working alongside AAA and its clubs to eliminate the nation’s top killer on our roadways – impaired driving.”

Preventing Drunk Driving

New Year’s Eve partygoers can help prevent drunk driving by heeding the following advice:

  • Plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver before any party or celebration begins.
  • Never get behind the wheel of a car when you’ve been drinking alcohol – even just one drink.
  • Take the keys from friends and family members who may be impaired.
  • If hosting a party, offer alcohol-free beverages.
  • If you encounter an impaired driver on the road ask a passenger to call 911.
  • Take the pledge to drive drug- and alcohol-free.

Visit PreventDUI.AAA.com for impaired driving facts, transportation alternatives and expert advice.

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