Don't get caught driving under the influence.

MADD, law enforcement team up for ‘Saturation Saturday,’ Aug. 26

Mothers Against Drunk Driving volunteers and staff will team up with law enforcement patrols across the country on August 26 for the fifth nationwide “Saturation Saturday.”

The virtual and in-person events highlight impaired driving prevention efforts by law enforcement during the annual National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, which launched Aug. 18 and continues through Labor Day. NHTSA’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, long supported by MADD, helps fund increased impaired driving enforcement, sobriety checkpoints and anti-drunk driving advertising during one of the busiest travel periods of the year. In support of the law enforcement community’s dedication to protecting the lives of residents in their communities, you will see officers working together during this time to take drunk drivers off the roads. No matter how you plan to celebrate the end of summer this year, make sure you plan it safely.

According to NHTSA, 13,384 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2021 — that’s one person every 39 minutes. On average, more than 11,000 people were killed in drunk driving crashes each year from 2017 to 2021.

According to MADD, alcohol-related traffic deaths increased by 14 percent from 2020 to 2021.

This is why MADD is working together with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal; it’s a matter of life and death. As you head out to festivities during the end of summer and Labor Day weekend, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

“We want our community members to understand that it’s our first priority to keep people safe, so we’re asking everyone to plan ahead if they know they’ll be out drinking,” said MADD California State Executive Director Pat Rillera. “The Saturation Saturday and Drive Sober campaigns are an awareness effort to get the message out that drunk driving is illegal and it takes lives. Let’s make this a partnership between with all drivers: Help us protect the community and put an end to this senseless behavior,” she said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sobriety checkpoints reduce drunk driving deaths by 20 percent. Support for equitable high-visibility traffic safety enforcement is one of the key elements of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, launched in 2006. MADD advocates funding for NHTSA’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over events every year in August and December, and the Click It or Ticket campaign in May. Saturation Saturday events will include checkpoints, increased DUI patrols and other enforcement efforts aimed at preventing impaired driving and stopping those who make a wrong choice. MADD staff and volunteers will participate in law enforcement roll calls, checkpoints and other activities to reinforce the lifesaving importance of these traffic safety enforcement activities.

During the 2021 Labor Day holiday period (6 p.m. Sept. 3 through 5:59 a.m. Sept. 7), there were 531 crash fatalities nationwide. Of these 531 traffic crash fatalities, 41 percent (216) involved a drunk driver, and more than a quarter (27 percet) involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the legal limit (.15+ BAC). Among drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 who were killed in crashes over the Labor Day holiday period in 2021, 48 percent of those drivers were drunk, with BACs of .08 or higher.

MADD recommends these intervention techniques to prevent 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 a ride service to get home safely.

• If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.

• Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

• No one should mix drinking and driving, and no one is immune to the effects of drinking. If you find yourself drunk and stranded with your vehicle, give your keys to a sober driver who can safely drive you home. Remind your friends to never get into a vehicle with a drunk driver. If you have a friend who is about to drive after drinking, take away their keys and help them get home safely. Most importantly: Always have a plan before you head out for the evening. If you wait until after you’ve been drinking to figure out how to get from one place to the next, you will already be too impaired to make the right choice.

For more information on impaired driving, visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.

To follow events throughout the day, follow MADD California on Instagram and Facebook at @MADDCalifornia.

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Mothers Against Drunk Driving was founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save over 390,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line (877) MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.