Tis the season to be jolly but a word of warning, law enforcement will be out in full force this holiday season. The Iowa Department of Public Safety has issued a press release warning people of the dangers of impaired driving and warning them of increasing law enforcement efforts to prevent and deter drunk driving tragedies. December has been proclaimed Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, six people died in traffic collisions over Christmas and New Years of 2008. Interestingly enough though, the Department of Public Safety did not specify how many of those deaths were related to "impaired driving." Chances are a small percentage of those deaths, if any, were related to impaired driving otherwise those statistics would have been emphasized. However, it is important to remember that the chances taken by driving after having a little too much holiday cheer are simply not worth it.
The considerable decrease and/or lack of impaired driving related deaths in 2008 can probably be attributed to the stepped up enforcement, public education and prevention
efforts by the Iowa Department of Public Safety. Credit can also be given to programs like KGGO's Holiday Safe Ride which provides free cab rides from participating establishments for patrons who believe they have had too much to drink during the holiday season. This year marks GRL Law's 5th year of participating in and sponsoring KGGO's Holiday Safe Ride. Bottom line is that prevention efforts from all different angles have a positive impact on decreasing drunk driving deaths. It would be refreshing to see organizations such as MADD and other agencies get involved in similar programs that continue throughout the year instead of merely focusing on the holiday season.
A word of warning though to those who elect not to take advantage of programs such as Safe Ride and chose instead to take the risks associated with driving home; law enforcement routinely steps up enforcement efforts on dates and times in which enforcement efforts are not advertised. They have shown a consistent pattern of cracking down the weekend and week PRIOR to a holiday weekend. Govern yourself accordingly and remember: know your rights; exercise your rights; preserve your freedom.