For Immediate Release - December 09, 2016

STATE LAUNCHES HOLIDAY IMPAIRED DRIVING ENFORCEMENT EFFORT

New TV Ad Features MA State Trooper

BOSTON, MA – December 9, 2016 – To make Massachusetts roads safer over the holiday season, the Highway Safety Division (HSD) of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), along with state and local police, today launched the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” (DSOGPO) education campaign and enforcement mobilization. Funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the campaign runs through January 1, 2017.

The Massachusetts State Police and as many as 202 local police departments will conduct a zero-tolerance impaired driving enforcement effort in which patrols will be conducted at high incident locations. In addition, State Police, with support from local departments, will hold a series of sobriety checkpoints using two Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) Mobiles purchased with grant funding from the EOPSS.

“It is important for members of the public to know that despite passage of the law regulating marijuana, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana remains illegal and extremely dangerous,” said Colonel Richard McKeon, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police. “If you get behind the wheel under the influence, rest assured we will be on the lookout for you.”

This year’s campaign is “The Crash is on You,” which was created to focus on the impact that drivers’ decisions have in crashes. The campaign, which will consist of TV, online, cinema, gas pump, billboard, and radio ads, and feature a Massachusetts state trooper, is designed to reach drivers between the ages of 21-34, the demographic which accounts for 46 percent of all alcohol-related driver fatalities.

DSOGPO Campaign Ads:

English 30 second: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7qv7wtmxitwglj7/AAAbB7eE9mnw-LwrrxQu3ot0a?dl=0&preview=%3A30+Good+Day+-+EOPSS+True+View.mov

Spanish 30 second: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7qv7wtmxitwglj7/AAAbB7eE9mnw-LwrrxQu3ot0a?dl=0&preview=%3A30+Un+buen+dia+-+EOPSS+True+View+.mov

“‘The Crash is on You’ puts the responsibility for a crash squarely on impaired drivers,” said Daniel Bennett, Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. “All drivers have a responsibility to arrange for a sober ride before celebrating by using a ride sharing or taxi service, the MBTA, or designating a sober driver.”

Massachusetts Data

  • From 2013 to 2014, alcohol impaired driving fatalities increased 14 percent (125 to 143).
  • Drug-related violations have risen 32 percent, from 1,365 to 1,803, from 2011 to 2015.
  • Marijuana or marijuana-type drugs were the most prevalent types of drugs found in people killed in crashes from 2010 to 2014.
  • From 2010-2014, 77 percent of impaired drivers in fatal crashes were men.
  • From 2010-2014, 46 percent of all alcohol-related driver fatalities were ages 21 to 34.

National Data

  • More than 10,000 people died in drunk-driving crashes every year on average from 2010 to 2014
  • Approximately 1 in 5 children (ages 14 and under) killed on US roads in 2014 were victims of drunk-driving crashes.
  • From 2011-2015, 28 percent (3,983) of all people who lost their lives in a traffic crash during the month of December died in a crash that involved a driver with a BAC of .08 or higher

Tips for Motorists

  • Plan for sober rides home before celebrating this holiday season. Use a ride sharing or taxi service, the MBTA, or a designated driver if you will be consuming alcohol and then travelling.
  • Stay in control by wearing your seat belt on every trip, no matter how short. Seat belts keep drivers behind the wheel in a crash.
  • Stay off your devices when driving.
  • Slow down and obey all posted speed limits.

***Media Notes***

Impaired crashes are not “accidents”.  We urge media to follow the AP Stylebook which suggests avoiding the word “accident” in reference to negligent, drunk or drugged crashes.