October 23, 2013
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Report A Drunk Driver campaign, sponsored by AAA Carolinas’ Foundation for Traffic Safety, encourages motorists to pull over in a safe spot, call 911 and provide details about the drunk driver’s location, vehicle and license plate.
Calls are coded specifically for the campaign and $100 is paid upon conviction to those who report someone driving under the influence.
South Carolina ranks third highest in the nation for drunk driving deaths per vehicle mile traveled. In 2011, Richland and Lexington counties, which both include a portion of the city of Columbia, recorded 13 percent of the state’s drunk driving deaths.
“We strongly encourage Columbia citizens to call 911 when they suspect someone of driving drunk,” said Columbia Interim Police Chief Ruben Santiago. “Columbia Police Department officers work hard to make sure the roadways are safe. We commend the residents who do call to report information because they care as much as we do.”
None of those reported since the program launched in June have yet been convicted of drunk driving, though AAA and the Columbia Police Department are tracking several arrests with upcoming court cases.
In 2011, 38 percent (315) of the state’s 828 traffic deaths involved drunk drivers and of those, 66 percent (210) had a blood alcohol content (BAC) above .15 percent.
Drivers nationwide are considered drunk when their BAC exceeds .08 percent. Nationally, drunk driving deaths make up about a third of all traffic fatalities. In 2011, 68 percent of those drivers had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15 percent or higher.
For more resources related to drunk driving, visit PreventDUI.AAA.com. AAA Carolinas’ Foundation for Traffic Safety is a non-profit organization founded by AAA Carolinas that works to promote traffic safety initiatives in North and South Carolina. For more information, go to AAA.com/Foundation.