Launched in December of 1999, the You Drink. You Drive. You Lose. Campaign is a national partnership between Law Enforcement, community agencies, businesses, schools and others who are committed to reducing deaths from impaired driving to not more that 11,000 nationwide by 2005.
The intent is to build on the incredible momentum and the hard work already taking place in communities throughout America aimed at stopping impaired driving and saving lives. There are many ways residents can assist law enforcement in the effort to reduce the incident of impaired driving:
- If you plan to drive —— Do Not Drink
- Choose a sober designated driver.
- Take public transportation.
- If you are hosting a gathering be sure to have non – alcoholic beverages.
- Celebrate Responsibly.
Robert C. Dwyer
Chief Of Police
Frequently Asked Questions
Studies show that the majority of Americans consider impaired driving to be one of our nations most important social issues. Nearly 97 percent of American view impaired driving as a major threat to communities.
On a national level, the You Drink. You Drive. You Lose. Campaign is supported by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, MADD, SADD, Remove Intoxicated Drivers and other group interested in making our communities safer.
In Massachusetts, promoting the You Drink. You Drive. You Lose. Campaign is a major initiative of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association. As part of the MCOPA efforts three training session on the You Drink. You Drive You Lose Campaign Strategies were conducted across the state, technical assistance is being provided to local departments for program implementation and 26 departments across the state were awarded mini – grants to assist with enforcement during the You Drink. You Drive. You Lose Mobilization weekend occurring on December 21 – 23, 2001
On December 21, 2001, The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association is asking that all motorists drive with their headlights on. This visual sign is to memorialize those who have lost their lives as a result of alcohol related motor vehicle crashes.
Lights on for life is also a reminder to all who live, work or travel in your community that everyone must do their part to increase the safely on our roadways.
Impaired Driving is a serious crime that kill innocent people each year. In 2000, 16,653 people died on our roadways as a result of an impaired driver. That figure reflects an increase of nearly 1,000 deaths over the prior year. We have reached a cross road in our effort to prevent this deadly crime. The Unites States is at a critical point where we all must do our part to significantly reduce the number of alcohol related crashes.
In the United States some one dies in a car crash every 13 minutes. Every 33 minutes someone dies in an alcohol related car crash. This number is high and rising. The victims are could be someone’s mother, father, spouse, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandparent or friend. Do your part to make sure this type of tragedy does not affect you life.
“Not every kid is going to get in the car, drive drunk, and die. But there will be that kid who kid who has to have his stomach pumped. Don’t so much remind them that drinking does not [just] equal death but it does equal a lot of things. You have to evaluate every part of the ‘what can happen’ and make sure they know every consequence.”
This is the advice to adults from a seventeen-year-old girl who has made a decision not to drink alcohol as a minor. She is one of 10 young people from Essex County who are featured in my new underage drinking prevention program, Underage Drinking: Not Everyone is Doing It. From her perspective, she sees the damage that drinking does up close and urges adults to speak honestly to the children in their lives about all the consequences of drinking – not just drinking and driving. She is also an example that debunks the myth that all kids drink. The truth is – as the name of my new underage drinking prevention program suggests – fewer high school students in Massachusetts are drinking.
It is true that, for too many young people, alcohol does result in death. Alcohol kills young people at a significantly higher rate than all other illegal drugs combined. These deaths are caused not just by motor vehicle crashes, but also homicides, suicides, alcohol poisoning and other accidents such as drowning or falling. This statistic should provide warning to those adults who, with all good intentions, collect car keys from minors in an effort to “keep them safe”. The fact is there is no such thing as safe underage drinking. Here in Essex County, we have had numerous incidents where minors have suffered alcohol poisoning, been sexually assaulted and have died as a result of attending so-called “supervised” drinking parties.
But as the young people who were interviewed by my staff said – death is only a small part of the wreckage caused by underage drinking. Addiction, brain damage, drug use, crime victimization and poor school performance is the rest of the story.
Jonathan W. Blodgett
Essex District Attorney