SOURCE: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Region 7

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Region 7

December 26, 2009 13:00 ET

Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving: Impaired Driving by Women Is on the Rise

KANSAS CITY, MO--(Marketwire - December 26, 2009) - Impaired driving by women is becoming a national safety issue. Each year, about 2,500 female drunk drivers are involved in motor vehicle crashes. According to NHTSA research, in 2008 there was an increasing trend among women driving under the influence of alcohol with women accounting for 14 percent of total drivers killed with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. FBI statistics for the 10 years between 1998 and 2007 show that arrests for women driving under the influence increased by nearly 30 percent.

But regardless of gender, the holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year's can be one of the deadliest and most dangerous times on America's roadways due to an increase in drunk driving. In December 2008, 888 people were killed in crashes that involved a driver or motorcycle rider (operator) with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.

That is why throughout the holiday period hundreds of state and local law enforcement organizations are joining highway safety officials to get impaired drivers off of the roads, and remind motorists this holiday season that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.

"Whether you've had way too many or just one too many, it's not worth the risk of killing yourself or someone else," said Romell Cooks, Regional Administrator, NHTSA Region 7. "Don't ever get behind the wheel of a vehicle when you are impaired."

Following these easy steps, a driver can enjoy a safe and festive holiday without jeopardizing their life and the lives of the others who may be on the road:

--  Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
--  Before drinking, please designate a sober driver and give that person
    your keys;
--  If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or
    use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely;
--  If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don't hesitate to call
--  And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive or ride while
    impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to
    where they are going safely.

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