Each December, we go out for fun, parties and drinks with family and friends. But we ask you to stop and think for a second about being responsible. December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month and since the holiday season has a higher accident rate than others on average, it is important to echo the message of consciousness of being in a proper state behind the wheel. According to the National Safety Council, over 40,000 people died in alcohol-related traffic accidents last year. So this year, stay safe during the holidays.
History of National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month
Since 1981, high officials all across America have worked their hardest promoting the importance of staying sober while driving during the month of December, proclaimed National Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month or National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, and it all stemmed from one woman and her resolve.
On May 3, 1980, thirteen-year-old Cari Lightner was struck and killed by Clarence Busch in a drunk driving accident. When police arrested Clarence, they found this was not his first occurence, even down to a hit-and-run drunk driving fine less than a week before his accident with Cari. At the time, driving while intoxicated was a misdemeanor that was barely prosecuted, meaning that Busch was very unlikely to have gone to jail.
This unacceptable fact motivated Cari’s mother, Candy Lightner, to take action. The result was the non-profit organization known as MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Candy’s movement quickly grew across the nation. She pushed to a more strict definition of what drunk driving was, having legislators pass stricter laws and prosecutions that included jail time and license suspensions, up to having President Reagan establish 21 as the minimum drinking age and appointing Lightner as part of a commission developed to tackle the issue.
To this day, Candy continues to advocate for anti-drunk, drugged and distracted driving legislation as president of We Save Lives. “I am not against drinking. I am for responsible drinking. We don’t let people walk around with a loaded gun in our neighborhood. But we let them drive when they drink.”