December 14, 2020

DES MOINES, Iowa - The holiday season is known for celebrations and traditions, but it is also known for being the deadliest season when it comes to impaired driving.  Iowa Law Enforcement across the state will partner with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) this holiday season to remove impaired drivers from the roads and help save lives.  From December 18, 2020 to January 1, 2021, motorists will see an increased presence of law enforcement.  

Sadly, the statistics prove that we have a lot of work to do to put an end to drunk driving. According to NHTSA, 10,511 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2018. On average, more than 10,000 people were killed each year from 2014 to 2018 — one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 50 minutes in 2018. This is why the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau reminds drivers impaired driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death. As you head out to the holiday festivities, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. 

Sobering Statistics

  • 2018 traffic fatalities in Iowa, 27% involved alcohol-impaired driving. Don’t put your loved ones at risk this holiday season. 
  • According to NHTSA, 839 people lost their lives nationally in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver during the month of December, 2018.
  • Despite the fact it’s illegal to drive when impaired by alcohol, in 2018, one person was killed every 50 minutes by a drunk driver on our nation’s roads.
  • During the Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday periods in 2018 alone, there were more drunk-driving-related fatalities (285) than during any other holiday period that year.
  • An OWI can cost you $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, repairs, and lost time at work! 
  • In 2018, 85 lives were taken by alcohol-impaired traffic crashes in Iowa. Don’t be the reason someone doesn’t get home this holiday season. 

Celebrate with a Plan

Always remember to plan ahead if you will be celebrating with an impairing substance.  If you plan to indulge, plan for a sober driver to take you home.  Call a taxi, friend or Uber!  Is it your turn to be the designated driver?  Take the role seriously and do not partake in alcohol or any other drugs.  You are saving lives!


The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the largest law enforcement agency in the state. It includes six divisions and several bureaus, all working together with local, state and federal government agencies and the private sector, to keep Iowa a safe place by following our core values: leadership, integrity, professionalism, courtesy, service and protection. Divisions within the Iowa DPS: Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa State Fire Marshal Division, Iowa Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center, and Administrative Services Division. The Department of Public Safety is led by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor.

Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 E 7th St
Des Moines IA 50319