Preventing Impaired Driving

On average, two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime. Every day in America, another 27 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes (NHSA). According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 10 million people reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the year prior to being surveyed (NSDUH, 2014). This December, as we observe Impaired Driving Prevention Month, take action to help end drunk and drugged driving.

One of the best ways to prevent impaired driving is planning ahead. Plan to take public transportation, call a driving service or enlist a designated driver. If you are using medication that impairs your judgement or reasoning, ask your medical provider for assistance with setting up transportation services.

Safety measures to protect yourself from impaired drivers include being aware of your surroundings while on the road, always wearing a seat belt and having a vehicle with airbags.

In South Carolina, it is illegal to drive a vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher (SCDMV). A person is also guilty of a DUI if he or she drives a motor vehicle under the influence of any drug or combination of drugs and alcohol to the extent that the person’s ability to drive is impaired (S.C. Code Ann. § 56-5-2930(A)).  Consequences vary and, if caught, you can face heavy fines, jail time, driver’s license suspensions and other administrative penalties.

This year Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) celebrates the 30th anniversary of the designated driver and Tie One On for Safety campaign. MADD recognizes that the holiday season is the most dangerous time of year for traveling on the roads and asks you to display a MADD red ribbon on your vehicle to remind others to always designate a non-impaired driver.

This holiday season, join LRADAC and MADD in preventing impaired driving by encouraging others to drive safely and responsibly. Click here to get your MADD 30th anniversary red ribbon.

LRADAC is the designated alcohol abuse and drug abuse authority for Lexington and Richland Counties of South Carolina. The public, not-for-profit agency offers a wide array of prevention, intervention and treatment programs in locations convenient to residents of both counties. The agency has a budget of approximately $10 million and serves more than 5,000 clients per year.