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The Stop that Could Save Your Life this Labor Day Weekend

don't drink and drive

Sobriety Checkpoints Reduce Drunk Driving Deaths

WASHINGTON, DC--August 19, 2013: As our nation prepares for the Labor Day holiday, signaling the end of summer, law enforcement officers will take to the roads in an effort to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) endorses this type of law enforcement effort to deter would-be drunk drivers and reduce drunk driving injuries and fatalities. In fact, high visibility law enforcement is a key component of MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving.

"Sobriety checkpoints deliver a very direct message that if you choose to drive drunk, you will be held accountable," said MADD National President Jan Withers. "The idea is to publicize checkpoints ahead of time, in order to deter people from driving drunk and encourage them to plan ahead for a non-drinking designated driver." According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 138 people were killed in drunk driving crashes nationwide over the Labor Day holiday weekend in 2011 (the most recent year for which there is data). High visibility enforcement campaigns such as the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign have been proven effective in the fight to eliminate drunk driving. Currently 38 states and the District of Columbia participate in sobriety checkpoint programs which are designed to deter drunk drivers and reduce fatal crashes. On average these states have seen a reduction in fatal drunk driving crashes by 20 percent.

Across the nation, drunk driving continues to be a problem on our roads, and a majority of the American public believes it is a significant threat to their safety. Sobriety checkpoints play a key part in raising awareness about the problem and fostering recognition for the work that needs to be done to eliminate drunk driving.

MADD looks forward to the day when every state incorporates crackdown weekends into their traffic safety efforts. Until then, as you head out this holiday weekend, and every day, consider these tips:

-- Plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver or use alternate transportation.

-- Advocate for ignition interlock legislation in your state.

-- Support campaigns such as Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

-- Always be alert, wear your seatbelt and avoid distractions when you drive. "MADD asks that if you get stopped at a sobriety checkpoint this Labor Day weekend, take a minute to thank the officer for helping keep our roads safe; as one of the cars stopped may just save your life or the life of someone you care about," added Withers. MADD is asking the public to visit MADD to personally thank law enforcement throughout the nation.

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is the nation's largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving will end this danger on America's roads. PowerTalk 21 is the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol, using the proven strategies of Power of Parents to reduce the risk of underage drinking. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every eight minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. Learn more at MADD or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.