This Fourth of July, as we celebrate our country’s birthday, thousands upon thousands of Hoosier families will take to their cars, driving to barbecues, picnics, lakes and pool parties.
As you plan your drive home from summer festivities, Washington County Sheriff’s Department reminds drivers that one drink can be too many and that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.
In every state and the District of Columbia, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.
“Every year, we see the devastating consequences of those who drive impaired. This senseless behavior must end,” said Chief Deputy Brent Miller. “With all of today’s options for getting home safely, there’s no excuse for getting behind the wheel impaired as it endangers you and everyone else around you.”
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
From Friday evening, June 30, through early Wednesday, July 5, police will be out in full force, stopping impaired drivers by aggressively targeting those who put lives in danger. Expect to see increased sobriety checkpoints, roving patrols and saturation patrols. These enforcement efforts are vital to public safety, and save lives.
If law enforcement pulls you over for impaired driving this Fourth of July, you can count on being arrested.
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over means zero tolerance for those who drive impaired.
A DUI arrest during the Fourth of July holiday means the loss of your independence, including going to jail and losing your driver’s license. The average DUI cost? About $10,000, including car towing and repairs, attorney fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work and other hefty expenses.
For more information about Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, visit http://one.nhtsa.gov/drivesober
Don’t be a statistic
For as many good memories as the Fourth of July holiday can provide, it can also create recurring nightmares for families. Nationwide, impaired-driving deaths increased by 3 percent in the United States from 2014 to a total of 10,265 in 2015.
“That’s 10,265 mothers, fathers, children, siblings, friends, grandparents, and so many more,” said Dave Murtaugh, executive director of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. “It’s one person killed every 51 minutes in the United States.”
During the 2016 July Fourth holiday weekend – 6 p.m. Friday, July 1 through 6 a.m. Monday, July 5 – there were 146 drug- or alcohol-related crashes, 85 of which involved a driver with a reported blood alcohol concentration of .08 or greater.
Crashes involving alcohol or prescription and illegal drugs during this period resulted in 82 injuries and 6 deaths.
Nationwide, five years of data show that nearly 40 percent of all traffic fatalities during the holiday resulted from impaired-driving crashes.
Tips for a safe and fun holiday
Washington County Sheriff’s Department recommends these safe alternatives to impaired driving:
• Remember that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
• Designate, or be, a sober driver.
• Use public transportation.
• Call a cab or a ridesharing service.
• Download the SaferRide mobile app on the Android Play Store or the Apple iTunes Store. This simple app only has three options: call a taxi, call a friend, and identify your location for pickup.
• Celebrate at home or a place where you can stay until sober.
• Throwing a party? Offer non-alcoholic beverages and plenty of food.
• Never provide alcohol to minors.
• Ask young drivers about their plans. About half of drivers killed in impaired crashes during the July Fourth holiday are 18 to 34 years old.
• Friend or family member about to drive? Take the keys and make alternate arrangements.
Impaired driving is three times more common at night than during the day. If you see the signs of impaired driving below, turn off the road away from the vehicle and call 911 report the driver.
Weaving, swerving, drifting, or straddling the center line
Driving at a very slow speed
Making wide turns
Stopping without cause
Responding slowly to traffic signals
Driving after dark with headlights off
Almost striking an object or vehicle
Driving on the wrong side of the road
Turning abruptly or illegally