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Campaign begins to target alcohol-related truck accidents

One person dies every 51 minutes in the United States because of a drunk driver. That is the message that over 10,000 law enforcement agencies and police departments will give to people during the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign against drunk drivers.

The campaign will educate people in the U.S. about preventing alcohol-related highway deaths and will target drivers of motorcycles, big rigs, light duty trucks and passenger vehicles. Statistics show that truck drivers have the lowest percent of alcohol-related accidents. Still, big rig crashes can lead to disastrous and deadly truck accidents.

Overall, it was found that alcohol played a role in three percent of all fatal truck accidents.

Over 10,000 people died in drunk driving accidents in 2010. Nearly one in three highway deaths were caused by drunk drivers. Almost two thirds of these deaths were because of drivers who had twice the legal limit of alcohol intoxication.

The campaign includes new ignition interlock system recommendations for the courts, which are being released by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration in partnership with the National Center for DWI Courts. The guidelines encourage DWI courts to mandate the use of the interlock systems by convicted drunk drivers. The systems require convicted drunk drivers to blow into the interlock devices prior to starting their vehicles. If alcohol is detected, then the vehicles will not start.

During the next couple of weeks, the Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association and the National Center for DWI Courts will also get the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” message out through major media outlets in an effort to make roads safer.

Source: TheTrucker.com, “Three percent of fatal truck accidents in 2010 involved alcohol,” Aug. 14, 2012

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