Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

December 21, 2018
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month 

NEW CITY, NY - - The holidays are a time when friends and family come together to celebrate. Too often though, this results in more drivers on the road who are impaired by alcohol. 

The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that 40% of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year's involve drunk drivers. Another sobering fact - approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers (with blood alcohol concentrations [BACs] of .08 of higher). In New York State, as well as every other state and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, it's illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. However, even a small amount of alcohol can affect driving ability.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert remind residents to take steps from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to prevent drunk driving:

  • If you will be drinking, plan on not driving. Plan your safe ride home before you start the party. Designate a sober driver ahead of time.
  • If you drink, do not drive for any reason. Call a taxi, use a rideshare service, phone a sober friend or family member, use public transportation, etc. Download NHTSA's SaferRide app from Google Play or the iTunes Store which helps you identify your location.
  • If someone you know has been drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Take their keys and help them arrange a sober ride home. If you're hosting a party where alcohol will be served, make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement. Your actions could help save someone's life.

"If you drive while impaired, not only can you get arrested, you can be involved in a traffic crash that causes serious injury or death. And remember to always wear your seat belt—it's your best defense against impaired drivers," said Dr. Ruppert.

For more information visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) website at and the NHTSA website at