Courtney Davis

During the 2019 Labor Day holiday, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension will partner with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to get drunk drivers off the roads and help save lives.

The high-visibility national enforcement campaign — “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” — began Aug. 14 and runs today through Monday. During this period, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for drunk driving. Increased state and national messages about the dangers of driving impaired, coupled with enforcement and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce drunk driving on U.S. roadways.

Unfortunately, statistics prove that there is still a lot of work to do to put an end to drunk driving. According to NHTSA, 10,874 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2017. On average, 10,000 people were killed each year from 2013 to 2017 — one person was killed in drunk-driving crashes every 48 minutes in 2017. That’s the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors. This is why Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is working with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death.

During the 2017 Labor Day holiday period (6 p.m. Sunday until 5:59 a.m. Thursday), there were 376 vehicle crash fatalities nationwide. Forty-four percent of those fatalities involved drivers who had been drinking (.01+ blood alcohol content). More than one-third (36%) of the fatalities involved drivers who were drunk (.08+ BAC), and more than one-fourth (26%) involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the legal limit (.15+ BAC). Age is a particularly risky factor: Among drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 who were killed in crashes over the Labor Day holiday period in 2017, 42% of those drivers were drunk, with BACs of .08 or higher.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Watch UR BAC program recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:

Remember that it is never OK to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation, or use a ride sharing service to get home safely.

If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact 911

Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get them home safely.

For more information about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Watch UR BAC program is funded by the Texas Department of Transportation and is provided at no charge to promote alcohol awareness, the dangers of impaired driving, and friends watching out for friends. Contact: Lauren Verfurth at for booking information.

COURTNEY DAVIS is the family and community health county extension agent with Texas AgriLife Extension. She can be reached at 940-349-2882 or via email at

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