Give the Gift of Holiday Safety: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Published: 12/17/2021, 4:30 PM

(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) This holiday season, the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office is partnering with more than 120 local and state law enforcement agencies to share the message about the dangers of impaired driving. The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office and these agencies want all drivers to remember this lifesaving message: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

In support of the law enforcement community’s dedication to protecting the lives of residents in their communities, you’ll see officers working together Dec. 15, 2021, through Jan. 1, 2022, to take impaired drivers off the roads.

According to the most recent data from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, 396 people were killed in alcohol and/or drug-related crashes in Oklahoma in 2020, accounting for more than 60 percent of traffic crash fatalities in Oklahoma. This is why these 120 plus agencies are working with the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office to remind drivers that impaired driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death. As you head out to the holiday festivities, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.


“It’s important for drivers to take responsibility,” said Director Paul Harris of the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. “The holidays are a special time of year for most, and we want our community members to enjoy this season. We need a commitment from everyone to drive sober so everyone can have a safe holiday. Impaired driving is illegal and deadly. Help us end this senseless behavior and ENDUI,” said Harris. 

During the Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday periods in 2020, 10 people were killed in crashes in Oklahoma, all but two of those were alcohol and/or drug-related. These fatalities are not accidents and are 100 percent preventable. Drivers must remember that driving impaired by any substance — alcohol or drugs, prescription or illicit — is deadly, illegal, and selfish behavior.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol participates in this mobilization each year, receiving funding for overtime shifts from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. “Impaired driving is not acceptable behavior,” said Commissioner Tim Tipton of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. “We want to make sure everyone has a safe and fun holiday. Make no mistake, if you are found to be driving under the influence, you will be dealt with according to the fullest extent of the law. There will be a zero tolerance policy for impaired driving this holiday season. There are just no excuses for impaired driving,” said Commissioner Tipton.

In Oklahoma, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. It is also illegal to drive under the influence of any substance that can impair your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, including marijuana, some prescription medications, and illicit drugs. The cost of a DUI in Oklahoma? If you’re caught driving impaired and charged with a DUI, you could face jail time, lose your driver license, have your vehicle impounded, and pay up to $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, higher insurance rates, and lost wages.

If you’re the designated driver, make sure you keep that promise of safety to yourself and your passengers. Stay hydrated with water and other non-alcoholic beverages. Support other designated drivers, too. It can be a long night, but people are counting on you, not to mention the other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians on the streets. Take the role of designated driver seriously — people are relying on you.

Celebrate with a Plan

The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:

Remember, it is never okay to drive under the influence. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage or a small amount of marijuana, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.

If you see a driver on the road who you think may be under the influence, call 911. It’s not snitching, you could be saving a life!

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


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