Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over This 4th of July
Extra Patrols Planned for the Fourth
Independence Day falls on a Monday this year, creating a three-day holiday weekend for many Pennsylvanians. It allows plenty of time to celebrate with friends and family at barbecues, picnics and other get-togethers, putting many motorists out on the road.
Unfortunately, when you add alcohol to these holiday festivities, accidents can, and do, happen. This is especially true on holiday weekends such as July 4, when police will be on the lookout for impaired drivers through increased patrols and DUI checkpoints.
How big of an issue is drunk driving over the Independence Day weekend? Consider this: The National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NTHSA) reports that in 2014 (the newest statistics available), there were 164 drunk-driving fatalities over the Independence Day weekend.
Those 2014 numbers are no fluke: From 2010 to 2014, there were 752 people killed in drunk-driving crashes over the Fourth of July holiday, according to the NTHSA.
In fact, those DUI-related deaths accounted for 41 percent of the 397 people killed in all motor-vehicle crashes over the same period. Here are some more sobering statistics:
- More than half of all drivers between the ages of 18 to 34 killed in a motor vehicle crash over the 2014 holiday weekend had a .08 percent blood-alcohol content (BAC), which is the legal limit for alcohol impairment in all 50 states.
- More than 25 percent of drivers or motorcyclists killed in motor vehicle crashes during the 2014 July 4 weekend had a BAC of .15 percent of greater—which is twice the legal limit for alcohol.
- In 2014, drivers were three times more likely to drive impaired at night than in the daytime.
At Edgar Snyder & Associates we understand how tragic DUI-related crashes can be—we've represented people affected by these types of accidents over the past 30 years.
The good news is this: DUI crashes—and the injuries and fatalities they cause—are completely preventable.
As you set your weekend agenda, make sure that safety is part of the plan. Here are some simple tips to ensure you and your guests drive safely this holiday weekend:
- Don't wait until it's too late to make a plan. You should know how you are getting home before you ever leave the house for the night.
- Consider a designated driver.
- Consider alternate ways home. Download the Uber and Lyft apps, and make sure you have the phone numbers for cab companies in your area programmed into your cell.
- Don't be afraid to take someone's keys. If one of your guests is too inebriated to drive safely, take their keys and help them find an alternate way home (or let them crash on the couch).
- If you suspect another motorist on the road is alcohol impaired, don't hesitate to call 911.
We wanted to take the opportunity to remind you to take Edgar Snyder & Associate's Safe Driving Pledge—we will enter you for a chance to win a $100 gift card just for signing up. We also wanted to wish you all have a safe, happy Fourth of July weekend—where you remember to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.