Drinking and Driving Don’t Mix

Media Contact:
Arshon Howard
Chief of Community Relations
(302) 744-2675
Arshon.Howard@Delaware.gov

OHS increases DUI enforcement

November 21 – December 26, 2021

 

[DOVER, Del.] November 18, 2021 — The holiday season is upon us, and this year, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) wants you to give others the gift of holiday safety by pledging not to drink and drive.

During the 2020 winter holiday season, there were 2,646 crashes and 9 deaths on Delaware roads. One-third of those deaths (3) and about 5% (128) of the crashes were DUI-related.

The problem isn’t Delaware’s alone. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving is a problem on our nation’s roads every day, but it’s more prevalent during the holidays. Nationally, during the Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday periods in 2019, there were more drunk-driving-related fatalities (210) than during any other holiday period that year.

Oh what fun it is to ride safely

But we’ve asked, and you’ve listened. Here in Delaware, we’ve seen our numbers trending down.

  • In 2019, there were 3,083 holiday season crashes and 12 fatalities. 129 of those crashes and 4 of those fatalities were DUI-related.
  • In 2018, there were 3,612 holiday season crashes and 15 fatalities. 137 of those crashes and 6 of those fatalities were DUI-related.

While these figures represent a decrease in the first state’s DUI-related crashes and fatalities over the winter holiday season, there’s still more we can do to protect ourselves and others.

“The holidays are known for being merry and bright, but they’re also known for being one of the deadliest seasons when it comes to drunk driving. Every holiday season, lives are lost due to impaired drivers,” says Kimberly Chesser, Director, Delaware Office of Highway Safety.

“These tragedies are preventable. That’s why we’re asking all Delawareans to commit to keeping the roads free of drunk drivers, so that everyone can have a safe holiday. One way to do that is by celebrating this holiday season with a plan that includes a sober driver.”


Have a Plan Whether You’re Driving, Riding or Hosting:

  • Before drinking, plan a safe and sober ride home, such as a designated driver, ordering a ride through your phone, or by calling a cab.
  • Don’t let someone get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking.
  • If you’re hosting a gathering, make sure all your guests have a sober ride home.
  • If you see an impaired driver, call 911. And always wear your seat belt — it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.

What we’re doing

MADD: Tie One On For Safety

Law enforcement officers across the state are partnering with OHS to remind drivers it is never okay to drink and drive. From Friday, December 10th

through Sunday, December 26th, Delaware drivers will see more officers on the roads as part of an active DUI-enforcement campaign. The increased enforcement aims to motivate drivers to not drive under the influence of alcohol, as well as remind them of the consequences and dangers of drunk driving.To reinforce the message that drinking and driving doesn’t mix, the Office of Highway Safety is also partnering with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving).

This years marks the 35th year of MADD’s ‘Tie One On For Safety’ campaign, which asks people to tie a red ribbon on their car antennas as a visible reminder to designate a sober, non-drinking driver.

To support our shared mission of preventing drunk driving deaths, OHS will be handing out 1,000 red ribbons at Milton’s Winter WonderFEST.


Other Holiday Hazards

Drunk driving is not the only concern during the holiday season. That’s why OHS is conducting its annual Safe Family Holiday campaign that runs between Christmas and New Year’s, and highlights traffic safety dangers that are more prevalent during the holiday season.

Now that it’s getting darker earlier, it’s even harder for drivers to see pedestrians. To make sure everyone arrives alive, the Office of Highway Safety (OHS) encourages all pedestrians to carry a flashlight or wear reflective/light-colored clothing. OHS also asks drivers to slow down and to be on the lookout for pedestrians – especially in neighborhoods.

The cold, winter weather also poses challenges for drivers. Rain, sleet, and ice can impact a driver’s steering and stopping abilities – making a driver’s reaction time even more critical. To help reduce dangerous distractions in the car and keep drivers’ eyes on the road, drivers should already have their directions set and routed before they even leave the driveway. Winter storms can also come on suddenly, so drivers should check the latest weather warnings and traffic and road conditions before they head out.

To remind drivers of the extra road risks during the holidays, OHS is conducting several additional enforcement campaigns:

  • Law enforcement officers across the state will place a special emphasis on enforcing pedestrian safety laws from November 27th through December 19th.
  • There will also be exta enforcement around occupant protection and distracted driving starting November 21st and running through December 19th.

DE OHS logoAbout the Delaware Office of Highway Safety

The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues, such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. Follow OHS on ArriveAliveDE.comFacebookTwitterInstagram, and Snapchat.


Thanksgiving 2019 DUI Checkpoint Results

The statewide Thanksgiving 2019 DUI Checkpoint was a success

Dover, Del. (December 2, 2019)The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) coordinated DUI checkpoints on Thanksgiving Eve in each county statewide on November 27, from 10 PM to November 28, at 2 AM the following morning.

Checkpoint Results

Working together with the Delaware State Police and local law enforcement, OHS supported three DUI checkpoints across the state. A total of 65 officers worked 390 hours combined and saw 1,463 vehicles come through the checkpoints.

OHS is pleased to report that Thanksgiving 2019 DUI Checkpoint Strikeforce was a success. In Delaware, officers made 6 DUI arrests and netted an additional 58 traffic arrests or citations for various infractions, including 6 seatbelt assessments, 7 drug arrests and the apprehension of 1 wanted person.

“It is our goal to remove impaired drivers from Delaware roadways and prevent tragedies during this holiday season. OHS would like to thank Delaware State Police, the many local law enforcement agencies, as well as other safety partners like DelDOT for their participation with this activation of Checkpoint Strikeforce. Their continued commitment empowers our efforts during this most dangerous time of year,”Richard Klepner, Deputy Director, Delaware Office of Highway Safety.

Upcoming Checkpoint Strikeforce

OHS will coordinate the next Checkpoint Strikeforce effort on December 14, 2019. Three DUI checkpoints will occur statewide, as well as DUI patrols, to deter individuals from driving while impaired.

You can follow the Delaware Office of Highway Safety by visiting:
Delaware Office of Highway Safety Web Site
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
LinkedIn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Cynthia Cavett, Marketing Specialist II & Public Information Officer
Delaware Office of Highway Safety
Cynthia.Cavett@delaware.gov
302-744-2740

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About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. FAQs can be found at ArriveAliveDE.com.


OHS’s Safe Family Holiday and SoberLift Launch

Campaigns reinforce increased dangers associated with holiday driving during one of the busiest travel times of the year and the importance of safe driving behaviors

DOVER, Del. (Nov. 26, 2019)The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) has announced the launch of its new Safe Family Holiday Campaign with a kick-off event on Monday, November 25. The campaign, which runs through Wednesday, January 1, 2020, reinforces the importance of safe driving habits during one of the busiest travel times of the year. Through a combination of tactics – high visibility enforcement, traditional media, social media, and grassroots efforts partnering with restaurants, businesses, and other traffic safety partners – OHS will educate Delawareans about the increased dangers associated with holiday driving to reduce crashes and fatalities on Delaware roadways during the holiday season.

“Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day is one of the most dangerous periods on Delaware roadways with drivers, passengers, and pedestrians being seriously or fatally injured in crashes,” said Director Kim Chesser, OHS. “Our Safe Family Holiday campaign is a creative awareness, educational, and enforcement campaign that reminds Delawareans of what makes holiday travel so dangerous. Most importantly, it also encourages everyone to drive sober, walk smart, slow down, buckle up and put the phone down. OHS, along with our traffic safety partners, want to bring everyone home safe this holiday season.”

In order to view yesterday’s press event and kick-off for the Safe Family Holiday campaign and SoberLift program launch, please click below:

Safe Family Holiday Statewide Events

Carolers will be on-site at the following prominent community events and locations throughout the state, performing their newest round of holiday favorites with a unique safety-messaging twist. They will be joined by street teams that will encourage those in attendance to pledge responsible driving during the holidays.

  • Saturday, Dec. 7 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Winter WonderFEST2019 in Milton, Delaware
  • Sunday, Dec. 8 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Christmas In Smyrna at the Smyrna Opera House in Smyrna, Delaware
  • Monday, Dec. 9 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: Caroling on the Circle in Georgetown, Delaware
  • Saturday, Dec. 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Christiana Mall in Newark, Delaware
  • Saturday, Dec. 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Dover Mall in Dover, Delaware

Thanksgiving 2019 SoberLift Program – Statewide

In addition to Safe Family Holiday, OHS is pleased to announce its reactivation of the SoberLift program, in partnership with Lyft®, over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, statewide. The program will begin on Wednesday, November 27, at 3 p.m. and run through Sunday, December 1, at 2 a.m., and will provide free Lyft® vouchers* (maximum value of $15) for individuals who want a safe ride during that period. To participate in the program, individuals need to text “SOBERLIFT” to 99000 to redeem the discount code.

Campaign sponsors include: Breakthru Beverage DE, Captain Morgan, Two Stones, Buffalo Wild Wings, Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen, First State Brew Bus, Kelly’s Logan House, Washington Street Ale House/Oyster House, Wilmington Blue Rocks, Delaware Department of Insurance, Dewey Business Partnership, Bluecoast Seafood and Grill Rehoboth, The Starboard, Liquid Alchemy Brewing, and Aloysius Butler & Clark (AB&C).

“Thanksgiving Eve is one of the biggest drinking nights of the year, thus making it one of the most dangerous nights,” adds Chesser. “We want to make sure that everyone arrives alive to their Thanksgiving and post-Thanksgiving celebrations. This is why we are reactivating SoberLift statewide and strongly urge those out celebrating to plan ahead and take advantage of this program.”

Thanksgiving Eve DUI Checkpoint

The Office of Highway Safety is coordinating the 2019 Thanksgiving Eve Checkpoint Strikeforce in each county statewide on November 27, from 10 PM to November 28, at 2 AM. The initiative will reinforce the Safe Family Holiday enforcement and educational campaigns to keep impaired drivers off our roads. Delaware State Police and local law enforcement will be conducting DUI checkpoints in all three counties in the following locations:

  • New Castle County – RT 72 in Newark
  • Kent County – South State Street in Dover
  • Sussex County – SR 1 in Rehoboth Beach 

Safe Family Holiday Enforcements

The annual Safe Family Holiday enforcement period will be ongoing throughout the state from November 25 to January 1 with Delaware State Police and local law enforcement agencies focusing on impaired driving, speed, pedestrian safety, occupant protection, and distracted driving.

Statistics

Recent statistics emphasize why OHS is focusing on these core areas of travel safety during this campaign.

  • DUIs: From January 1 to November 21, 2019, the state of Delaware has seen 3,722 arrests and 18 fatalities related to impaired driving.
  • Speeding: Last year (2018) Delaware had 34 fatalities related to speed.
  • Pedestrians: Over the past 5 years, 145 pedestrians have been killed in traffic crashes; in 2018, 24 pedestrians were killed in crashes on Delaware roadways.
  • Failure to use seatbelts: Last year (2018) 53% of fatalities were unbuckled. 

*The number of daily codes, available between 4 p.m. and 2 a.m., will be limited.

You can follow the Delaware Office of Highway Safety by clicking on:

Delaware Office of Highway Safety Web Site

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Contact: Cynthia Cavett, Marketing Specialist II & Public Information Officer, Office of Highway Safety | (302) 744-2743 or Cynthia.Cavett@Delaware.Gov.

 

About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. FAQs can be found at ArriveAliveDE.com.


Office of Highway Safety Kicks Off New Safe Family Holiday Campaign & Reactivates SoberLift

Media Advisory: 

November 22, 2019

Initiative reinforces the importance of safe driving behaviors

during one of the busiest times of the year

WHAT:

The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is launching its new Safe Family Holiday Campaign, as well as reactivating the SoberLift initiative ahead of Thanksgiving weekend.

Through a combination of tactics – traditional media, social media, and grassroots efforts partnering with restaurants, businesses, and statewide partners – OHS will educate Delawareans about the increased dangers associated with holiday driving to reduce crashes and fatalities on Delaware roadways during the holiday season.  

WHERE:

Iron Hill Brewery

620 Justison Street

Wilmington, DE 19801

https://goo.gl/maps/8s7U5SMVc268v7BL9

WHEN:

Monday, November 25 at 11 a.m.

WHO:

Robert Coupe, Cabinet Secretary of Delaware Department of Safety & Homeland Security

Kim Chesser, Director of Delaware Office of Highway Safety

John Yeomans, Chief of Delaware Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement

Dave Ennis, Regional Program Manager of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Representatives from: OHS, Delaware State Police, first responders, corporate partners, government and business leaders

Traffic Safety Carolers

MORE:

The relaunched “Safe Family Holiday” campaign coincides with OHS’s traffic enforcement period running Wednesday, November 27, 2019, through Wednesday, January 1, 2020, and focuses on responsible driving and pedestrian safety during one of the busiest travel times of the year.

Carolers will be on-site at the following prominent community events and locations throughout the state, performing their newest round of holiday favorites with a unique safety-messaging twist. They will be joined by street teams that will encourage passersby to pledge responsible driving.

    • Saturday, Dec. 7 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Winter WonderFEST2019 in Milton, Delaware
    • Sunday, Dec. 8 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Christmas in Smyrna at the Smyrna Opera House in Smyrna, Delaware
    • Monday, Dec. 9 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: Caroling on the Circle in Georgetown, Delaware
    • Saturday, Dec. 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Christiana Mall in Newark, Delaware
    • Saturday, Dec. 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Dover Mall in Dover, Delaware

In addition to Safe Family Holiday, OHS is pleased to announce its reactivation of the SoberLift program, in partnership with Lyft®, over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, statewide. The program will begin on Wednesday, November 27, at 3 p.m. and run through Sunday, December 1, at 2 a.m., and will provide free Lyft® vouchers* (maximum value of $15) for individuals who want a safe ride. To participate in the program, individuals need to text “SOBERLIFT” to 99000 to redeem the discount code.

Campaign sponsors include: Breakthru Beverage DE, Captain Morgan, Two Stones, Buffalo Wild Wings, Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen, First State Brew Bus, Kelly’s Logan House, Washington Street Ale House/Oyster House, Wilmington Blue Rocks, Delaware Department of Insurance, Dewey Business Partnership, Bluecoast Seafood and Grill Rehoboth, The Starboard, Liquid Alchemy Brewing, and Aloysius Butler & Clark (AB&C).

For more information, please visit https://www.arrivealivede.com.

CONTACT:  Cynthia Cavett (302) 744-2743 or cynthia.cavett@delaware.gov 

You can follow the Delaware Office of Highway Safety by clicking on:

Delaware Office of Highway Safety Web Site

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. FAQs can be found at ArriveAliveDE.com.

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Delaware Office of Highway Safety Kicks Off The Safe Family Holiday Campaign

DUI checkpoints in place on Wednesday, Nov. 21, ahead of Thanksgiving weekend

DOVER, DE (Nov. 19, 2018) The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) has announced the kickoff of The Safe Family Holiday Campaign and the theme “It’s The Most Dangerous Time of the Year”, running through Tuesday, January 1, 2019.  The awareness campaign is a reminder that there are increased dangers associated with holiday driving. Efforts are focused to reduce crashes and fatalities on Delaware roadways during the holiday season.  In addition to the education component of the campaign, the annual Safe Family Holiday will have an ongoing enforcement period, which focuses on impaired driving, speed, pedestrian safety, occupant protection, and distracted driving during one of the busiest travel times of the year.

“Celebrations, inclement weather and undue stress that come along with the holiday season often make for a dangerous combination for drivers and pedestrians,” said Kimberly Chesser, OHS’ acting director. “In fact, in the past five years, there were 316 pedestrian crashes across the state in November – December alone. This is a busy time of year, but that doesn’t mean it has to be hazardous for travelers, which is why our office is once again bringing back ‘The Safe Family Holiday Campaign’ and reminding motorists of the increased dangers associated with holiday travel on Delaware roadways. We want everyone to enjoy the holiday season, but to also be responsible and get where they are going safely.”

The campaign will once again use a life-size snow globe and carolers—ubiquitous holiday favorites, but with a unique safety-messaging twist*— to rally Delawareans to be more responsible drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, and empower them to take steps to reduce holiday crashes and fatalities.

The snow globe and carolers will be featured at the following prominent community events and locations throughout the state, and will be joined by street teams that will encourage passersby to sign a holiday drive responsibility pledge and enter the larger-than-life inflated snow globes, where they’ll have a picture taken to commemorate their commitment to safe driving and walking:

  • Saturday, Dec. 1, from noon to 5 P.M.: A Farmer’s Christmas at the Delaware Agricultural Museum in Dover, Delaware
  • Saturday, Dec. 8, from 4 P.M. to 8 P.M.: Winter WonderFEST2018 at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, Delaware
  • Saturday, Dec. 15, from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.: Dover Mall in Dover, Delaware
  • Saturday, Dec. 22, from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.: Christiana Mall in Newark, Delaware

    police officer working DUI checkpoint in Dover Delaware
    Police Officer working a Dover, Delaware DUI Checkpoint

“The response to last year’s campaign was overwhelmingly positive, generating more than 1,000 pledges,” said Chesser. “We hope to have the same results if not more for this holiday season.”

In addition to these grassroots efforts, OHS will have three DUI checkpoints in place on Wednesday, Nov. 21, ahead of Thanksgiving weekend. Checkpoints will be conducted from 10 P.M. – 2 A.M. at the following locations:

  • Kirkwood Highway in Wilmington, Delaware
  • South State Street in Dover, Delaware
  • US Route 113 in Lincoln, Delaware

“Thanksgiving Eve is one of the most dangerous nights of the year with a high number of impaired crashes,” adds Chesser. “This is why we are taking precautions to ensure the safety of our Delawareans. Plan ahead and have a designated driver or take advantage of one of the many ridesharing programs available.”

Statistics

Recent statistics emphasize why OHS is focusing on four core areas of travel safety during The Most Dangerous Time of the Year campaign.

  • DUIs: So far in 2018, the state of Delaware has seen 3,470 arrests and 18 fatalities related to impaired driving.
  • Speeding: Last year (2017) Delaware had 27 fatalities related to speed.
  • Pedestrians: Over the past 5 years, 147 pedestrians have been killed in traffic crashes; in 2017, crashes caused the death of 33 pedestrians in Delaware.
  • Distracted driving and failure to use seatbelts: Last year (2017) inattentive driving caused the majority of personal injury and property damage crashes in Delaware and 52% of fatalities were unbuckled. And from 2013-2017, Delaware had 150 unrestrained crashes in November – December.

For more information, please visit ohs.delaware.gov, or visit us on Facebook (@highwaysafetyde), Twitter (@highwaysafetyDE) and Instagram (highwaysafetyde).

*Snowglobe depicted in posters, print ads, billboards, theater ads, retail floor displays, social media posts, website pages and more will display the usual festive holiday settings, but with a vehicle accident disrupting the “peace and joy” of the season. With an overriding message of “Don’t let a crash shake things up this holiday season,” specific messages will address everything from avoiding DUIs and putting the phone away while driving, to slowing down, buckling up and crossing at crosswalks.

*Carolers will be equipped with lyrics to traditional holiday favorites, reinforcing The Most Dangerous Time of the Year messaging. These carols will be heard live as they travel with the inflatable snow globes, as well as on the radio during the campaign period. 

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About the Delaware Office of Highway Safety
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is committed to improving the safety of Delaware’s motoring public by focusing on behavioral traffic safety issues such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, child passenger safety, pedestrian and bicycle safety, motorcycle safety, and teen driving issues. FAQs can be found at ArriveAliveDE.com.