The Significance of Drugged Driving Prevention Month

Luca Rodriguez, Staff Writer

December marks Drugged Driving Prevention Month. While first started as part of the bigger war on drugs campaign, this event, just like the war on drugs and the infamous speech by Nancy Reagan has lasted the test of time and has been a part of every president’s time in office. Through this event, every president since President Ronald Reagan in 1981 has demonstrated their commitment to combating impaired driving by declaring December as the National Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month, more recently known as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.

The National Association of Drug Court Professionals calls the time between Thanksgiving and New Years’ the deadliest time of the year on American roadways due to impaired driving, explaining why the event falls in the month of December. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation through the Traffic safety marketing division offers resources and allows people to spread the word about the threat of impaired driving. Ways to do this include “Drive Sober or Get pulled Over” fact sheets, animated graphics, a sample op-ed and more. 

One can also check out the Drive Sober or Get pulled Over website for infographics, videos, and additional interviews. 

Due to COVID-19, according to the National Association For Mental Illness today, one in three people suffer from anxiety or depression, which can lead people to substance abuse. If one feels as if this holiday season may be a difficult one, the school has hired a new counselor Patricia Mills,a certified therapist, and could be an important resource to have this holiday season. 

Miami Palmetto Alumni and now Florida International University student Oscar Vinces talks about the importance of this month.

“As someone who has had family members negatively affected by drugged driving, this month is significant and deserves the attention it needs. You never know when tragedy can strike, and so I believe we need to increase the awareness of the reality of these issues because maybe one person will care enough to stop someone or help someone who is about to make a terrible mistake.” Vinces said.