Drunk Driving Fatalities Increase Sharply During Holiday Season
--- Data released this week by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that from 2001-2005, an average of 36 fatalities occurred per day on America's roadways as a result of crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. That number increases to 45 per day during the Christmas period and jumps to 54 per day over the New Year's holiday, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said. Thirty-eight percent of all traffic fatalities during the Christmas period occurred in crashes involving a drunk driver or motorcycle rider and 41 percent during the New Year's period, Peters said. This compares with 31 percent for the year as a whole.As a result, Secretary Peters and NHTSA Administrator Nicole R. Nason announced a nationwide crackdown on drunk drivers by law enforcement agencies that will continue through New Year's Eve. The "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest." public awareness campaign is being supported by $7 million in national television and radio advertising.