SOURCE: Governors Highway Safety Association, news release, Dec. 16, 2014
MONDAY, Dec. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- As the holiday season kicks into full gear, state highway officials from across the nation are warning drivers to stay off the roads if they've been drinking.
On average, more than 800 people in the United States die in drunk driving crashes each December. The annual national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over mobilization, staged from Dec. 10 to New Year's Eve, aims to lower that number and contribute to safer roadways.
"Unfortunately, far too many people still make the dangerous decision to get behind the wheel after too many drinks, especially during the holidays," Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, said in a statement from the association. "Impaired driving contributes to one-third of all highway fatalities."
The association focuses mainly on impairment caused by alcohol, but it's also calling for states to do more about impairment due to the use of drugs like marijuana.
According to the association, highway safety officials in Colorado and Washington -- two states that have legalized marijuana -- are emphasizing a "Drive High, Get a DUI" message.
"We need to make drug-impaired driving as socially unacceptable as drunk driving and remind all motorists that when you are feeling impaired -- whether it's from alcohol, another drug or a combination -- you are in no condition to drive," Adkins said.
The association also pointed to new programs in several states:
For more on impaired driving, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.