Motorists should use caution when driving during the holidays

HolidayBreak.jpgMotorists can help keep Wyoming’s roads safe this holiday season by driving sober or having a designated sober driver.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol and Wyoming Department of Transportation are urging motorists to make sure they get to their designations safe by never driving drunk.

“We want everyone to arrive at their destinations safely to ensure this holiday season remains a time for celebration and not a time for mourning,” said WYDOT Director Bill Panos. “The holidays are a time for family and friends to get together to create and share special memories. We want our Wyoming families to have a joyous holiday season.”

The WHP will continue its efforts to remove drunk drivers from the roads. December’s safety message is “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” which reminds motorists of the importance of driving sober.

Total alcohol fatalities in Wyoming over the past five years have fluctuated. There were 40 fatalities in 2017, 32 in 2016, 54 in 2015, 51 in 2014 and 28 in 2013, statistics from WYDOT’s Highway Safety program indicated.

“Alcohol impacts a person’s ability to think and function clearly, which is why it’s imperative that people don’t drink and drive,” said Col. Kebin Haller. “Around the holidays, people typically celebrate with friends and family. We understand people will continue to do that, but just do it safely. Wyoming can bring its alcohol-related crash fatalities down if people just drive sober or designate a sober driver.”

Nationally, almost 29 people each day die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes, statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated. In December 2017, 885 people lost their lives due to crashes involving drunk drivers nationwide.

In Wyoming, a driver is considered impaired with a blood-alcohol content of .08 percent or above.

The consequences for driving impaired include fines and legal fees, driver license revocation and even jail time. 

Besides driving sober or having a designated driver, motorists can take additional steps to stay safe when traveling. They can:

  • Call a taxi or ride service if they’ve been drinking.
  • Ensure all guests at their part leave with a sober driver.
  • Always wear their seat belts to protect themselves against impaired drivers.

Driving sober is not only important during the holidays but throughout the year. Motorists can also stay safe and get the latest road and travel conditions by downloading WYDOT’s 511 app for their smartphones.