62 were alcohol-related, one traffic fatality
So far, there have been 1,730 vehicular crashes in the CNMI this year and 62 of them were alcohol-related, resulting in one traffic fatality, according to the Department of Public Safety yesterday.
In 2012, 32 out of 1,676 crashes in the Commonwealth were alcohol-related. Of those 32, there were three fatalities.
Nationwide, in 2012 alone, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes—one every 51 minutes, DPS said.
DPS disclosed these numbers at yesterday’s proclamation signing for December as CNMI Drunk, Drugged, Drowsy and Distracted Driving Prevention Month.
Acting governor Victor Hocog signed the proclamation at the Governor’s Office conference room.
In the proclamation, Hocog said that DPS, along with other government agencies and the private sector, will be out in full force this holiday season to keep roads safe.
Hocog said there will be zero tolerance for drunk driving, backstopped with a designated driver program.
DPS will be joining the national campaign, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving,” and “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk.”
DPS Commissioner Robert A. Guerrero said it’s the start of the holiday season so they want the people to be safe when they go home.
“Don’t drink and drive. You drink somewhere and if you’ve had enough, call the designated drivers, call the department because we have designated drivers in the month of December to help [you] get home,” Guerrero said.
DPS Traffic Section commander Sgt. Anthony Macaranas said the police are trying to be creative in sending out the message about the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol.
“Do not attempt to drive home when you’re impaired. Call a family member, call a cab or call somebody that you think will take you home safely,” Macaranas said.
Macaranas said people should not get behind the wheel when intoxicated because when they get into a crash, they hurt themselves and other people, and when they get caught they will be jailed and charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol.