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Memorandum on Drunk and Drugged Driving

December 28, 1983

Memorandum for All Federal Employees

Subject: Drunk and Drugged Driving

As we bring this year to a close in holiday celebration, I want to call to your attention the serious problem of drunk and drugged driving. It is one of the leading causes of violent death in our Nation.

Each year we lose over 25,000 lives, injure over 700,000 Americans and suffer billions of dollars in economic costs due to this problem. Five hundred Americans die each week—71 each day—that's one American death every 20 minutes. Every one of these casualties is someone's son or daughter, husband or wife, mother, father, or friend.

Communities nationwide have responded to this menace by organizing such groups as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Remove Intoxicated Drivers (RID). Task forces in many cities and States are working to solve this problem. Private sector programs alerting employees to the drunk and drugged driving problem are multiplying. Legislators, spurred by concerned citizens, are making changes in laws to reduce the loss of life and injury caused by drunk and drugged driving.

We as Federal employees have an important role to play in removing the drunk and drugged drivers from our roads. Your heightened awareness, coupled with your continued commitment to halt this needless death and destruction, can make a difference, particularly during the holiday season.

I hope your resolutions for the New Year will include not mixing alcohol or drugs with driving, driving defensively at all times, and wearing your safety belts regularly-your best defense against the drunk and drugged driver.

Together we can make this holiday season a truly joyous one and the coming year the safest one yet on our roadways.


Ronald Reagan, Memorandum on Drunk and Drugged Driving Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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