We are committed to speaking out against drunk driving. That’s why we are big supporters of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Because we help many clients who are victims of drunk driving crashes, we understand the tragic consequences of this careless act. Raising awareness involves all of us, and we believe in doing our part by sponsoring our own local “Walk Like MADD” team, and periodically reminding people about the dangers and consequences of drunk driving.
Why now? Because driving under the influence has always been a big problem, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the months of July and August have particularly high rates of fatal alcohol related crashes. Working together we can help solve this problem by constantly raising awareness and taking steps to prevent it.
Did you know that in 2016, over 1.1 million drivers were arrested in the U.S. for driving under the influence? While these impaired drivers pose a significant risk to all of us, what is more heartbreaking is that 10,497 people lost their lives in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. That’s an average of one alcohol-impaired driving fatality every 50 minutes. Shockingly, the average drunk driver has driven drunk over 80 times before his or her first arrest. Kansas has about 94 drunk driving deaths each year and over 1,100 injuries, while Missouri has about 244 deaths each year and over 2,800 injuries.
Here’s how you can help.
1. Don’t do it. This may be obvious but it’s worth stating. If you plan to drink, also plan for a designated driver, call a taxi, use public transportation, or spend the night at a friend’s house or hotel. Make a plan ahead of time and be 100% committed to never driving under the influence.
2. Express your commitment. Tell your family and friends you feel strongly about this issue and stay committed. Setting an example for others will help raise awareness and make others think twice.
3. Don’t allow guests to drive home under the influence. Cooking out this summer? Be a great host. Make sure your guests have a designated driver or consider providing one for them. Or, consider providing taxis or ride-share services to your guests at your own expense. Set clear expectations and stick to them. Let your guests know that their safety and the safety of others is important to you.
Driving under the influence is 100% preventable and we are asking you to join us in this effort. Drinking and driving can kill you, those you love, your friends, and others. It can also lead to serious injuries – spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, etc. Moreover, if you decide to drink and drive, it can cost you significant amounts of money in legal fees and compensation for those you’ve injured – and that’s on top the legal fees and costs associated with criminal charges.