Hurlburt ADAPT notes Impaired Driving Prevention Month Published Nov. 15, 2023 By Earl Rivers 1st Special Operations Public Affairs HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- During 2021, a staggering 13,384 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in the United States alone. Accordingly, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is teaming-up with law enforcement communities nationwide in support of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over high-visibility-enforcement impaired driving campaign. NHTSA and law enforcement are working tirelessly to spread the word about the dangers of drunk driving and to remind all drivers: If you plan to drink alcohol, plan ahead for a sober ride home. During the holiday season, Americans celebrate with friends, family and neighbors. For many people, this ‘holiday cheer’ involves consuming alcohol at parties and other social events. Therefore, if you choose to consume alcohol, it’s essential that you drink responsibly. To further promote responsible use of alcohol, the National Institutes of Health recommends low-risk drinking. Low-risk drinking is defined as men consuming no more than four drinks in a day and no more than 14 drinks in a week, and women consuming no more than three drinks in a day and no more than seven drinks in a week. A standard drink contains about one-half ounce of pure alcohol. Generally, this amount of pure alcohol is found in 12 ounces of regular beer, eight ounces of malt liquor, five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor. Alcohol and drugs, both illicit and prescribed, can impair judgment, reaction time, vision, motor skills and memory; consequently, degrading an individual’s ability to drive safely. Consider the following facts, which are provided by the NHTSA: • In fatal crashes in 2021, the highest percentages of alcohol-impaired drivers (i.e., with BACs of 0.08 or higher) were for 21- to 24-year-old drivers (27%) and for 25- to 34-year-old drivers (27%), followed by 35- to 44-year-old drivers (23%). Men are most likely to be involved in this type of crash, with four male alcohol-impaired drivers involved for each female alcohol-impaired driver involved. • In 2021, the percentages of alcohol-impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes by vehicle type were 28% for motorcycle operators, 24% for drivers of passenger cars, 20% for drivers of light-trucks (i.e., pickups, SUVs, and vans), and 3% for drivers of large trucks. • Of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities, 31% involved alcohol-impaired drivers with blood alcohol concentrations at, or above, 0.08. • In 2021, among the 13,384 alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities, 67% (9,027) were in crashes in which at least one driver had a BAC of 0.15 or higher. • On average, a DUI can costs $10,000 dollars in attorney’s fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, car towing, and more. Therefore, following these easy steps, a driver can enjoy a safe and festive holiday season without jeopardizing their life and the lives of others who may be on the road: • Plan a safe way home before the party begins. • Before drinking, designate a sober driver and give that person your keys. If you are the designated driver, take this role seriously and do not consume alcohol, not even one drink. • If impaired, use a ride/taxi service, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely. • If you happen to see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement. • Remember, if you know someone who is about to drive while impaired or ride with an impaired driver, take their keys and help them make other arrangements. The holidays should be a time for celebrations with friends and family, not tragedy. Help make roadways safe by never driving after drinking. To better educate the American people regarding the vital importance of responsible use of alcohol, the NIH Rethinking Drinking initiative offers numerous online interactive tools and resources (i.e., Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) calculator; Drink-size calculator; Cocktail-content calculator; Alcohol-spending calculator; Alcohol-calorie calculator; Drinking-tracker & drinking-analyzer cards; etc), which are accessible via the following website: https://www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/tools/calculators/Default.aspx For more information, contact the Hurlburt Field Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program at (850) 881-4237. The ADAPT Program provides a wide range of prevention education, outreach, evaluation, counseling and treatment services to active duty military members. The ADAPT Program is located at 130 LeTourneau Circle, building # 90311 (i.e., positioned directly behind the Hurlburt Youth Center). Family members of active duty personnel should contact TriCare-Humana East at (800) 444-5445 or www.humanamilitary.com for information and assistance in obtaining substance use evaluation, counseling and treatment services.