The Present of Sober Driving


In the course of the vacation season, many people look ahead to get-togethers with family and friends. Sadly, holidays will also be a harmful time for alcohol- and drug-related visitors incidents. SAMHSA is observing Nationwide Impaired Driving Prevention Month in December to lift consciousness of this lethal but preventable drawback.

For the reason that early Nineteen Eighties, public coverage modifications, faculty and group interventions, and grassroots advocacy have considerably decreased alcohol-related driving fatalities. But, driving impaired (by alcohol or different medicine) continues to take lives.

  • About 30 % of all visitors fatalities in the US contain a driver who’s alcohol impaired. Every day, about 32 folks in the US die in a crash by which at the least one driver is alcohol impaired. That’s one particular person each 45 minutes.1,2
  • 56 % of drivers who’re significantly injured or killed in a crash examined optimistic for at the least one drug, in keeping with preliminary information from an ongoing research. 3,4

Alcohol, Different Medication, and Drugs

We all know rather a lot about how alcohol impairs the flexibility to drive — affecting our imaginative and prescient, response instances, judgement, and skill to multi-task. Driving below the affect of different medicine can have equally lethal penalties. 5,6

  • Some prescription and over-the-counter medicines could cause excessive drowsiness, dizziness, and different unwanted effects. If there’s a warning on the treatment about “working heavy equipment,” that features driving a car.
  • Marijuana can sluggish response time, impair judgment of time and distance, and reduce coordination.
  • Opioids could cause drowsiness and impair cognitive operate.
  • Cocaine and methamphetamines can result in aggressive and reckless driving.

It’s unlawful in every single place in the US to drive drunk, marijuana, opioids, methamphetamines, or any probably impairing drug. 7

  • This consists of prescribed and over-the-counter medicines.
  • Even in states the place marijuana legal guidelines have modified, it’s nonetheless unlawful to drive below the affect of that drug.

What You Can Do

All of us wish to have fun safely. That begins with renewing our dedication to sober driving and supporting our family members and communities to do the identical. Only one drink (or substance) can have an effect on an individual’s driving.

  • Should you’re attending a gathering the place alcohol or different substances can be served, plan beforehand to get residence safely.
    • You may designate a sober driver or prepare for a taxi or journey share (to and out of your vacation spot).
    • Speak upfront with family and friends about planning to stop impaired driving.
  • Don’t let others get behind the wheel in the event that they’re below the affect.
    • Take their keys and prepare a sober journey residence or have them keep the evening.
  • Should you host a celebration the place alcohol or different substances can be served:
    • Ask your friends to make a plan to get residence safely.
    • Supply substance-free drinks.
    • Be certain all friends depart with a sober driver.
  • All the time put on a seat belt.
    • Guarantee that everybody within the car wears a seat belt.
  • Should you see an impaired driver on the highway, pull over and speak to native regulation enforcement.

For the Children in Your Life

Speak together with your youngsters about impaired driving.

  • Allow them to know:
    • It’s by no means okay to get behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle whereas below the affect.
    • Getting in a automotive with somebody who has been consuming or utilizing medicine is harmful.
  • Assist youngsters plan an exit technique, to keep away from accepting a journey from somebody below the affect.


This vacation season — and all 12 months lengthy — we every play a task in stopping impaired driving and its tragic penalties. Sober driving is a present that we are able to every give to ourselves and one another.

1Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration. Drunk Driving. Retrieved at on Nov. 15, 2022.

2Nationwide Heart for Statistics and Evaluation (2022, April). Alcohol-impaired driving: 2020 information (Visitors Security Details. Report No. DOT HS 813 294). Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration. (PDF | 541 KB)

3Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration. Drug-Impaired Driving. Retrieved at on Nov. 15, 2022.

4 Workplace of Behavioral Security Analysis. (2021, June). Replace to particular experiences on visitors security through the COVID-19 public well being emergency: Fourth quarter information (Report No. DOT HS 813 135). Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration.

5 Nationwide Institute on Drug Abuse, Nationwide Institutes of Well being, U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers. (2019, December). Drugged Driving DrugFacts. Retrieved at on Nov. 15, 2022.

6Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration. Drug-Impaired Driving. Retrieved at on Nov. 15, 2022.

7 Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration. Drug-Impaired Driving. Retrieved at on Nov. 15, 2022.



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