Proclamation 5136 -- National Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Week, 1983

December 13, 1983

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

The most serious problem on our Nation's highways is drunk driving. Drunken drivers kill and injure more people on the roads than any other cause. The cost of this slaughter is staggering, as much as $25 billion each year.

The drunk driving problem has stirred outrage among citizen groups, which have succeeded in arousing national interest in the problem. In response to these concerns, many States have set up task forces to examine their drunk driving laws. Several States have already enacted amendments to strengthen their laws. To encourage these efforts, I established the Presidential Commission on Drunk Driving in April 1982. That Commission successfully completed its work and has prepared a landmark report of its findings.

There is also a generally unrecognized menace in a category akin to the drunken driver: the drugged driver. The drugged driver is also a public hazard, perhaps less recognized because the cause of the individual's behavior may be less apparent. The driver who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of mind-altering drugs also presents a significant danger on the roads. The problem of the drugged driver is growing, and the American people must become more aware of this added threat.

In recognition of the threat that drunken and drugged drivers pose to the safety of our citizens, to heighten public awareness of the societal costs of such drivers, and to encourage and support efforts to decrease traffic fatalities caused by drunken and drugged drivers, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 119 (Public Law 98 - 103), has designated the week of December 11, 1983, through December 17, 1983, as ``National Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Week'' and has requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of that week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning December 11, 1983, as National Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Week. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate activities in their homes, offices, schools, and communities. I ask all of us to be mindful of the dangers of driving while drunk or drugged and to use this observance to intensify our efforts to prevent sadness and tragedy from intruding on our joyful holiday season.

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

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:16 a.m., December 14, 1983]