Celebrate Summer Safely – Plan Before You Party Fact Sheet


  • Labor Day weekend is one of the deadliest times of year on the road, with an increased number of fatalities involving impaired drivers.
  • During the 2016 Labor Day holiday there were 433 crash fatalities nationwide.  Nearly half of those fatalities involved drivers who had been drinking.  In Washington, 50 percent of fatalities involve impairment.
  • To crack down on impaired drivers and improve public safety, many law enforcement agencies will be conducting extra patrols for drunk or impaired drivers from August 17 through September 3.  
  • Impairment doesn’t just include drunk driving.  Impairment can result from use of  
    • Alcohol
    • Marijuana
    • Illegal drugs
    • Prescription drugs
    • Many over the counter drugs, like Nyquil, Ambien and pain and allergy medication

Be safe. Plan before you party.

  • Choose a designated driver
  • Take a taxi or rideshare
  • Use public transportation
  • Spend the night
  • Leave your car at home
  • Download and use the Safer Ride app to find a ride home (available on Google Play and iTunes) 

Impairment by the Numbers

  • Half of all traffic deaths in Washington involve an impaired driver.
  • Driving while high doubles your chance of killing yourself or others in crash.
  • There were 278 fatalities involving an impaired driver in Washington in 2016.  Nearly 42 percent of those involved marijuana.
  • Summer is the deadliest time to drive for teens, with fatalities for teen drivers increasing 15% between Memorial Day and Labor Day compared with other times of the year. 57% of those include impairment as a factor.
  • About one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers. In 2016 there were 10,497 people killed in these preventable crashes.  That’s about equal to 20 jumbo jets crashing, with no survivors.
  • During Labor Day weekend 2016 there were 433 crash fatalities nationwide.
    • 43% had blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) of .01+
    • 36% involved drivers who were drunk with a BAC of .08+
    • 25% were driving with a BAC almost twice the legal limit, at .15+

 The Costs of Drunk Driving

  • More than 10,000 lives lost each year nationally from 2012 to 2016.  There were 278 fatalities involving an impaired driver in Washington in 2016.
  • $5,000 fine
  • Suspension of driver’s license.
  • 100% increase in insurance rates
  • One year in jail
  • Installation of ignition interlock device on your car
  • On average, $10,000 in attorney fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, car towing and repairs and more.
  • Drunk driving costs the United States $44 billion annually.