Prevent impaired driving during the holiday season

Published on December 05, 2022

'Tis the season to drive sober

Weld County, Colorado — The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment (WCDPHE) recognizes December as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month and urges community members to make responsible decisions and take appropriate measures to prevent driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Studies show the average adult doubles their alcohol intake between Thanksgiving and New Year's. Whether celebrating at holiday social events or trying to cope with depression or stress, the result can be excessive consumption of alcohol, which can have negative unintended consequences, especially behind the wheel.

Weld County 2022 Community Health Survey data indicates that among Weld County residents who drink alcohol, 41.6% report 1 or more binge drinking episodes in the past month with 21.3% binge drinking 3 or more times in the same time period. The survey also revealed nearly 1 in 5 Weld County residents report having driven within one hour of drinking alcohol.

Impaired driving facts:

  • In Colorado, fatalities involving impaired drivers increased 16% from 212 in 2020 to 246 in 2021. Though fatal motorcycle, pedestrian, and bicycle crashes remained relatively steady last year, fatalities involving vehicle occupants skyrocketed by 22%
  • Alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes cost more than an estimated $44 billion annually
  • Drunk driving is often a symptom of a larger problem: alcohol misuse and abuse
  • Drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08% — the legal limit in every state — are about 4 times more likely to crash than sober drivers
  • Any drug — whether illegal, filled by a prescription, or over-the-counter — can impair a person's ability to safely operate a vehicle

For more information on impaired driving prevention, please see the resources included in the December edition of the Public Health Spotlight.