National Holiday Lifesaver Weekend

This highly successful program has been conducted every year since 1991 during the weekend preceding Christmas. Agencies combine forces in a massive effort to identify and apprehend drunk and drugged drivers, and other traffic violators. IACP staff collect data and serve as a point of contact for media. Impressive results have been achieved.



Background    -     Project Goals    -     Objectives    -     Project Description


The weekend immediately prior to the Christmas holiday is designated as "National Holiday Lifesaver Weekend." This time period was chosen because traditionally, the holiday season is a time of increased travel and alcohol consumption. To ensure motorists reach their destinations safely, state and provincial police and highway patrols are encouraged to maximize deployment on problem roads during times when they know collisions are most likely to occur.

The month of December has been designated as "National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention (3-D) Month." As a result, national attention will be focused on the impaired driver. State and local governments, consumer groups and the media have rallied to support 3-D Month activities. Our efforts during National Holiday Lifesaver Weekend will benefit from this heightened attention.

To heighten public awareness of the tragedy caused by the impaired driver and to lead into the Holiday Lifesaver Weekend, the IACP and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are requesting that law enforcement agencies support and participate in "National Lights on for Life" day. During this day, police are requested to join with the public in turning on their headlights. This is a fitting lead-in to the events of the Lifesaver Weekend.



To improve highway safety through a joint effort of public awareness and enforcement, focusing on the impaired driver, excessive speed, occupant restraint use, and service to motorists.



1. Maximize deployment and visibility of state and provincial police and highway patrols during the project period.

2. Elicit the support of local allied law enforcement agencies. Although reporting from local agencies is not required, it is encouraged. Local agencies may report their activities through the state data coordinator, or directly by fax to IACP headquarters.

3. Emphasize service and assistance to the motoring public.

4. Reduce the incidence of drivers under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

5. Enforce safety belt and child safety seat laws.

6. Enforce prima facie and maximum speed limits on all roadways within the agency's jurisdiction.

7. Promote media coverage of the project for enhanced public awareness.



Using techniques known by them to be successful, state and provincial police and highway patrols are requested to maximize deployment and enforcement in their jurisdictions during the project period. As always, and especially during this peak holiday travel time, assistance and service to the motoring public will be a priority. By making service and assistance a priority, motorists are assured their safety is of utmost importance to the law enforcement community. Emphasis should be placed on hazardous violations such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; exceeding speed limits; and not using safety belts and child safety restraints. Use of impaired driver detection and apprehension tactics and resources such as drug recognition experts, special enforcement units, saturation patrols, and sobriety checkpoints is encouraged.


State and provincial agencies are encouraged to contact local law enforcement agencies to gain support for the project and to engage in cooperative enforcement operations when possible.

Public awareness activities will be conducted to create a deterrent effect on potential violators and to strengthen public support for the project. "Lights on for Life" is being held this year as the lead-in for Lifesaver Weekend. Agencies may wish to hold joint press conferences with other traffic safety agencies to demonstrate a unified effort to assure a safe holiday season.

State and provincial police and highway patrols are requested to report their activity and any major or unusual arrests or incidents that occur during the project period to IACP. At the conclusion of the project, the IACP will prepare an overall project report and evaluation. In addition, the IACP will provide to participating agencies national totals for crashes and enforcement activities.