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Prevent impaired driving in December

When: December

What: Oftentimes, people misjudge their ability to drive while impaired. While there are many laws about driving while drunk, the ability to measure drug impairment is inconclusive, making it difficult to form laws for driving while under the influence of drugs. In December, promote safety while driving during National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.

Background: Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) started National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month in 1994. In 2010, President Barack Obama proclaimed December to be National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. The purpose of the month is to increase awareness about the dangers of driving while impaired, both by alcohol or drugs. Driving while impaired means driving while under the influence of anything that can impair one’s motor skills, reaction time and judgment.

Story Pitch: This month, many groups can take part in promoting impaired driving awareness. Local police and fire departments can promote the month by offering statistics about impaired driving. They can also host events that show the dangers of impaired driving. High schools and colleges can increase awareness by hosting events that discuss the repercussions of impaired driving. In addition, colleges can also promote a “Sober Buddy” program, encouraging students to always have a designated driver. Car insurance companies can increase awareness by offering safe driving incentives during the month of December.

Story Hook: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 16 percent of weekend, nighttime drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription or over-the-counter drugs in a 2007 study. Many things can be done to promote safe driving and to discourage driving while under the influence. What age group is targeted most by safe driving campaigns? Consider the following questions when you make your pitch: – What are some unique ways that you can promote safe driving? – How can you deter impaired driving amongst young people? – How can local interest groups partake in discouraging impaired driving? – What can parents and teachers do to encourage students and children to make the right driving choices?

Resources:

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency Inc.
(212) 269-7797
national(at)ncadd.org
www.ncadd.org

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(888) 327-4236
www.nhtsa.org

National Institute on Drug Abuse
(301) 443-1124
Information (at) nida.nih.gov
www.nida.nih.gov

Mothers Against Drunk Driving
(877) 275-6233
www.madd.org

–Researched, compiled & written by Kimberly Cooper
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