Proclamation 5753 -- National Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Week, 1987


December 11, 1987


By the President of the United States of America


A Proclamation


During the past 5 years, thousands of dedicated citizen volunteers throughout our Nation have taken part in the programs and activities of National Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Week. These efforts just before the holiday season have proven enormously successful in increasing public awareness of the dangers of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. As the 1987 holiday season approaches, we need to focus once again on the terrible cost in human lives and suffering caused by drunk and drugged driving.


Although alcohol is still involved in more than half of all highway deaths, we are beginning to see signs of real progress in our battle against drunk driving. In 1986, 41 percent of the total traffic fatalities throughout our Nation involved at least one driver or pedestrian who was intoxicated, down from 46 percent in 1982. During the same period, the proportion of intoxicated teenaged drivers involved in fatal crashes dropped from 28 percent to 21 percent, the largest decrease for any driver age group. This is progress, but our battle is far from over. If we hope to realize our goal of eliminating intoxicated drivers from our streets and highways, we must continue the positive momentum of the last few years and resolve to do even more in the future.


Each of us can help reduce the senseless carnage on our highways by refusing to tolerate drunk and drugged driving and by becoming more aware of what can and ought to be done. We must insist upon efficient and effective criminal justice, find improved ways to detect and stop impaired drivers before a crash occurs, and increase our willingness to communicate our concerns to friends and family.


Of increasing concern is the combination of alcohol and drugs and its impact on the incidence of motor vehicle crashes. We should all be aware that driving after the use of drugs -- including prescription and over-the-counter drugs -- may create safety hazards on our roads and highways, and that combining drugs with alcohol increases these hazards.


In order to encourage citizen involvement in prevention efforts and to increase awareness of the seriousness of the threat to our lives and safety, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 136, has designated the week of December 13 through December 19, 1987, as ``National Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Week'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.


Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of December 13 through December 19, 1987, as National Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Week. I ask all Americans to show concern and not to drink or take drugs and drive or to permit others to do so. I also call upon public officials at all levels and all interested citizens and groups to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities in reaffirmation of our commitment to refuse to tolerate drunk and drugged driving.


In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 11th day of December, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twelfth.


Ronald Reagan


[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:12 a.m., December 14, 1987]