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 |  Aug 27 2010, 8:47 AM

We’re all a little sad to see the end of summer. We usually send it off with a long weekend, lots of backyard BBQs and a few pool parties. Since most of these types of shindigs involve alcohol, there’s always an increased risk of intoxicated drivers on the road. That’s why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has started their drunk driving campaign called “Over the limit. Under arrest.”

On now until September 6th, you’ll see an increase presence of police enforcement officers and checkpoints on the road, as well as TV and radio campaigns to warn drivers of the risks.

This annual NHTSA operation began in 2003 and has helped reduce drunk-driving accidents and fatalities. Although the numbers have dropped since 1994, alcohol-related crashes continue to be responsible for about a third of all vehicle deaths. The numbers are startling – in 2008, about 12,000 people (32 percent) of all fatal crashes were caused by drivers of vehicles or motorcycles who had a blood-alcohol-content of at or above the legal limit of .08 percent. The highest percentage of deaths from drunk driving is those 21 to 24 years old.

The campaign to bring awareness to the seriousness of drunk driving has stepped up their efforts this year. Last month, New York State instituted a law that requires all drunk driving offenders to use interlock devices before they can start their car. And, the ROAD SAFE Act (Research of Alcohol Detection Systems for Stopping Alcohol-Related Fatalities Everywhere) was introduced by members of Congress, which will fund the development of new in-vehicle technologies to prevent under-the-influence drivers from operating a vehicle.

[Source: Consumer Reports]