Due to the increase in drunk-driving-related fatalities around the holidays each year, the Watertown Police Department will join the 202 local law enforcement agencies and the Massachusetts State Police running extra patrols through the New Year as part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over mobilization, the Watertown Police announced.
This campaign is funded by a federal grant administered through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Highway Safety Division (EOPSS/HSD).
“When you make the choice to drive drunk, people get injured and killed,” said Sergeant David Sampson. “The safest way to get home is to never drink and drive. If you plan on drinking at a holiday party or at a restaurant, take a taxi or public transportation or hand the keys over to a sober friend.”
The National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2014 in Massachusetts, 133 people were killed in crashes that involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Nationally, in December of 2013, there were 733 people killed in crashes involving at least one driver with a BAC of .08 or higher, and 23 of those deaths occurred on Christmas Day.
Getting caught drunk behind the wheel is no small matter; you face jail time, fines, loss of driver’s license, towing fees, and other OUI expenses, totaling $10,000 on average. The cost of cab fare is nothing compared to a $10,000 OUI, the inconvenience of spending the holidays behind bars, or the cost of someone’s life.
“Leading up to the holidays, we will show zero tolerance for drunk drivers on the road,” added Sgt. Sampson.
The Watertown Police Department also reminds motorists that wearing a safety belt is your best defense against drunk and aggressive drivers and your own mistakes.