Newburyport Daily News
---- — BOSTON — Treasurer Steven Grossman and the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, in conjunction with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s national Impaired Driving
Crackdown, will focus enforcement efforts at bars throughout the commonwealth during the 2012 holiday season. The operation started the night before Thanksgiving, and will continue through New Year’s Eve.
“This type of enforcement effort can save lives and prevent tragedies before they happen,” Grossman said in a press release. “Operation Safe Holidays takes immediate and effective steps that result in the direct prevention of drunk driving and serving of intoxicated individuals during the busy holiday season.”
The ABCC, at the direction of Chairman Kim Gainsboro, works to enhance public safety, officials say.
“These programs create safer roads and highways throughout the commonwealth by discouraging drunk driving and by establishing a long-term deterrence for bar and restaurant owners to over-serve patrons,” Gainsboro said in the release.
Impaired driving is a significant cause of injuries and fatalities in the U.S. and is estimated to cost $37 billion annually. In 2010, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, one person
every 51 minutes.
Sale to Intoxicated Persons enforcement by the ABCC is considered an effective tool to stop it at the source. More than half of impaired driving arrests originate at Massachusetts bars.
To date, in 2012, the ABCC has conducted enforcement operations in approximately 200 communities throughout the state and has responded to 500 complaints regarding underage drinking and the sale of
alcohol to intoxicated individuals. Approximately 250 bars and liquor stores have been charged with violations under the Liquor Control Act.