Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) volunteers and staff will team up with law enforcement patrols across the country on Aug. 27 for the fourth nationwide “Saturation Saturday.”
The virtual and in-person events highlight impaired driving prevention efforts by law enforcement during the annual National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, which launches Aug. 17 and continues through Labor Day. NHTSA’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, long supported by MADD, helps fund increased impaired driving enforcement, sobriety checkpoints and anti-drunk driving advertising during one of the busiest travel periods of the year. In support of the law enforcement community’s dedication to protecting the lives of residents in their communities, you will see officers working together during this time to take drunk drivers off the roads. No matter how you plan to celebrate the end of the season this year, make sure you plan it safely.
According to NHTSA, police-reported, alcohol-involved crashes increased by 5% from 2020 to 2021, indicating that estimated fatalities in 2021 were still higher as compared to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019. This is why MADD and local law enforcement are working together with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal, but also a matter of life and death. “Hazardous driving behaviors have increased over the past two years amounting to more alcohol-related deaths and injuries on our roads,” said Patricia Rillera, MADD California State Executive Director. “As we head into one of the busiest weeks on the road and the long Labor Day weekend, MADD joins our law enforcement partners in urging everyone to plan ahead before the first drink. Designate an unimpaired driver, utilize rideshare or call a taxi. There is never an excuse to drive drunk.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sobriety checkpoints reduce drunk driving deaths by 20%. Support for equitable high-visibility traffic safety enforcement is one of the key elements of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, launched in 2006. MADD advocates funding for NHTSA’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over events every year in August and December, and the Click It or Ticket campaign in May. Saturation Saturday events will include checkpoints, increased DUI patrols and other enforcement efforts aimed at preventing impaired driving. MADD staff and volunteers will participate in law enforcement roll calls, checkpoints and other activities to reinforce the lifesaving importance of these traffic safety enforcement activities.
The timing of the campaign is significant. On July 29, 2022, a 23-year-old woman pleaded guilty to an alcohol-fueled crash in Newport Beach that killed a Santa Ana couple and left their three young daughters hospitalized. According to law enforcement officials, Grace Elizabeth Coleman was driving a black Range Rover southbound on Newport Coast Drive when the SUV collided with the victims’ Nissan Versa while turning onto Pelican Hills Road South at 7:46 p.m. As a result of this crash, the need is heightened for MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving program and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign to address the ripple effects of driving impaired.
MADD recommends these intervention techniques to prevent drinking and driving:
- Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.
- Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
For more information on impaired driving, visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.
To follow events throughout the day, follow MADD California on Instagram and Facebook at @MADDCalifornia.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save over 390,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.