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Notice to Readers: "You Drink & Drive. You Lose" Program, August 19--September 5, 2005

Motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in all persons aged 1--34 years in the United States (1). In 2003, approximately 40% of motor-vehicle--traffic fatalities involved alcohol (2). The percentage of traffic fatalities involving alcohol usually increases during holiday periods. During the Labor Day holiday period in 2003, approximately 51% of traffic fatalities involved alcohol (2).

During August 19--September 5, 2005 (Labor Day), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and local traffic-safety partners nationwide will conduct the "You Drink & Drive. You Lose" program to reduce the rate of alcohol-impaired driving. The program will involve a national media campaign and increased enforcement of drinking and driving laws through such measures as sobriety checkpoints.

At sobriety checkpoints, law enforcement officers systematically stop drivers to assess their level of alcohol impairment. Legal blood alcohol levels in every state are <0.08% (0.08 g/dL). CDC has concluded that sobriety checkpoints are an effective means of reducing alcohol-related traffic fatalities (3,4).

Information about the "You Drink & Drive. You Lose" program is available at Information about effective strategies communities can use to prevent deaths and injuries from impaired driving is available from CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at


  1. CDC. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS™). Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2005. Available at
  2. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic safety facts, 2003. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation; 2005. Publication no. DOT HS 809 775.
  3. Elder RW, Shults RA, Sleet DA, Nichols JL, Zaza S, Thompson RS. Effectiveness of sobriety checkpoints for reducing alcohol-involved crashes. Traffic Inj Prev 2002;3:266--74.
  4. Shults RA, Elder RW, Sleet DA, et al., Task Force for Community Preventive Services. Reviews of evidence regarding interventions to reduce alcohol-impaired driving. Am J Prev Med 2001;4S:66--88.

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Date last reviewed: 8/17/2005


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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
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