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Reducing Drunk Driving Deaths: The Need for High Visibility

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To discourage drunk driving and reduce resulting death rates, safety agencies are turning up the visibility of enforcement efforts.

In May of 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a report containing recommendations for eliminating deaths associated with drunk driving. Noting that more than 10,000 people are killed and 170,000 injured each year in alcohol-associated accidents, the NTSB and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have joined forces in calling for vigorous efforts to stop the needless loss of life on America’s roads.

Among recommendations made by the NTSB to reduce alcohol-associated accidents and resulting fatalities, the agency advised increasing high-visibility enforcement (HVE) efforts on a federal and state level. But what exactly is high-visibility enforcement?

HVE is the coordination and implementation of different tools to educate the public, enforce the law and reinforce the message that driving when drunk is deadly.

Those tools include the following:

  • Messaging — Public safety campaigns and slogans keep motorists aware of the problem in their community.
  • Enforcement — Since 2009, drunk driving deaths have been on the rise in North Carolina. The state runs a “Booze It and Lose it” campaign along with six mobile breath alcohol test (BAT) units. Containing tools and workstations to conduct blood alcohol concentration (BAC), these “Batmobiles” are highly visible.
  • Media — Using social networks and other media, enforcement agencies keep campaigns against drunk driving in the public eye.

High visibility efforts remind the public of the dangers and the consequences of choosing to get behind the wheel after drinking. If a drunk driver causes an accident in North Carolina in which you or a loved one is injured, consider taking legal action with help from an attorney.

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