RALEIGH The holidays are a joyous time of year often celebrated by gathering with friends and family. Too often, though, people make the decision to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. This choice can lead to deadly consequences, as it did for the 378 people who lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes on North Carolina roadways last year, including 35 in December alone.
"The safety of our citizens is my top priority, especially during the holiday season," said Governor Pat McCrory. "I encourage everyone to plan ahead and designate a sober driver when alcohol is involved to ensure they get home safely. Law enforcement officers will be out day and night to catch drivers who break the law."
Although the number of drunk driving deaths in North Carolina has consistently declined year after year, drinking and driving continues to be responsible for nearly 28 percent of fatalities on our state's roads. To raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving and show how it impacts lives, the N.C. Department of Transportation and the Governor's Highway Safety Program kicked off the Holiday "Booze It & Lose It" campaign earlier today in Asheville and launched BoozeItandLoseIt.org.
The centerpiece of the new website is the "20|20 Hindsight" video series, which includes 20 personal stories illustrating from very different perspectives the dire consequences of drinking and driving. Each video concludes with the message "See the stories. Learn the Lessons." The goal of that message is to encourage those who visit the website to take the stories to heart and do their part to save lives by never getting behind the wheel after drinking.
"These powerful stories are a reminder that every alcohol-related crash has a face and a devastating impact on families," said Mike Charbonneau, Deputy Secretary of Communications. "Onecrash and death is too many and we hope that our 20|20 Hindsight' series resonates with drivers to help us eliminate these tragedies."
229,103 alcohol-related crashes and 8,469 deaths have occurred on North Carolina highways since 1994, when the Booze It & Lose It' campaign started.
In addition to the"20|20 Hindsight" video series, BoozeItandLoseIt.org also provides a history of "Booze It & Lose It," national and statewide statistics, safety tips and an overview of North Carolina's current DWI law.
The Holiday "Booze It & Lose It" campaign begins today, Dec. 12, and runs through Jan. 4, 2015. For additional information about "Booze It & Lose It", contact Heather Jeffreys at (919) 707-2665, or visit the GHSP website.