According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 30 people die every day in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one such death every 48 minutes in the United States.
Driving under the influence puts the person behind the wheel, passengers, and civilians sharing the road in danger. In an effort to reduce alcohol-impaired driving in Massachusetts, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s (EOPSS) Highway Safety Division (HSD) has launched a statewide campaign called Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over (DSGPO).
Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign
The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over (DSGPO) campaign coordinates extra state and local traffic enforcement to increase the number of sobriety checkpoints on the road. In effort with paid and earned media advertisements and community education programs, the campaign aims to increase awareness of Massachusetts laws against impaired driving. Residents can expect to see law enforcement cracking down during the following mobilization periods in 2014-2015:
- August 13 – September 1, 2014
- December 1, 2014 – January 2015
- August 14, 2015 – September 4, 2015
Increasing Penalties for Impaired Driving in Massachusetts
On October 28, 2005, Melanie’s Law was passed by the Legislature to significantly increase penalties for impaired driving offenses in Massachusetts – especially those involving repeat drunk drivers.
For example, a driver who is caught operating a vehicle under the influence (OUI) with a license already suspended for driving impaired will not only be charged with another OUI, but an additional offense of OUI with a suspended license. This additional offense carries a minimum of 1-year mandatory jail sentence.
Organizations Working to Prevent Drunk Driving
The following organizations aim to reduce impaired driving year-round with support, education, and safety campaigns:
- The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) is a federal agency responsible for reducing deaths, injuries, and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes.
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is a non-profit organization with more than 600 chapters nationwide working to stop drunk driving, support victims of violence, and prevent underage drinking. To support the local cause, contact MADD Massachusetts.
- The Drunk Driving Trust Fund (DDTF) assists alcohol-impaired accident victims, witnesses, and family members through advocacy, support, and counseling.
The dangers of driving under the influence are irreversible and have already claimed too many victims. Become a part of the solution today by making a promise to yourself and your loved ones to never drink and drive.
Help us promote sober driving. Tweet your advice or stories to @MassGov.
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