AAA reminds motorists what's really at stake this New Year's Eve
WASHINGTON, Dec. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Americans pop the cork on New Year's Eve celebrations this weekend, AAA cautions partygoers against getting behind the wheel after the champagne toast. According to a recent analysis conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, during the last decade, the years' highest number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities occur on New Year's Day.
While the holidays make for a timely reason to raise the visibility of alcohol-related fatalities, AAA also continues to spread the message to not drink and drive in response to feedback from its members who cite impaired driving as one of their greatest safety concerns. And they're not alone. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's latest Traffic Safety Culture Index reveals that 97 percent of drivers consider impaired driving to be unacceptable. Despite that fact, Americans continue to drink and drive. Alcohol-impaired drivers make up about one third of motor vehicle deaths.
"We've all heard that a DUI conviction can cost you financially. Legal fees, bail and other related expenses can amount to more than $10,000," says Jennifer Davidson, manager, Traffic Safety Advocacy. "But impaired driving can have a cost that impacts more than the wallet. Getting behind the wheel after drinking can lead to life-altering outcomes." AAA reminds motorists of the true costs of impaired driving:
- It can cost you your life. In 2009, 10,839 people lost their lives in alcohol-related traffic crashes. That's about one death every 48 minutes.
- It can cost another's life. Alcohol-related traffic crashes don't only affect the impaired driver. One third of alcohol-involved traffic fatalities are passengers, occupants in other vehicles or pedestrians.
- It can cost you your freedom. A first-time DUI conviction can result in a six-to 12-month jail sentence, more for repeat offenders and for impaired drivers who injure or kill someone in a crash. Monitoring bracelets, ignition interlock equipment, license revocation and probation also place restrictions on your life.
AAA works year round to educate motorists about driving practices that will help keep them safe and reduce traffic-related crashes and the injuries that can result. PreventDUI.AAA.com is an online resource offering impaired driving facts, transportation alternatives and expert advice. Once there, AAA encourages visitors to Take the Pledge to drive drug and alcohol-free.
As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the internet at AAA.com.
AAA news releases, high-resolution images, broadcast-quality video, fact sheets and podcasts are available on the AAA NewsRoom at NewsRoom.AAA.com