This weekend, Americans across the nation will celebrate the Fourth of July holiday, and many festivities will include alcohol. While there’s nothing wrong with celebrating with a beer or two, too many people choose to drink irresponsibly during the summer holiday. In fact, the Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to drunk driving-related crashes.
During July 4th holidays from 2007 through 2011, 780 people died in traffic crashes involving drivers with BACs of at least 0.08, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). During the same July 4th holidays, 511 people died in car crashes involving drivers with BACs of at least 0.15, or almost twice the legal limit.
As the July 4th weekend approaches, we want to remind you to celebrate safely by not drinking and driving. We also want to remind you that law enforcement officials across the nation will be cracking down on drunk drivers all weekend through increased sobriety checkpoints, roving and patrol saturations, and other enforcement efforts as part of the NHTSA’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
Stay safe and avoid a DUI this holiday weekend by following a few simple safety tips:
- Plan a safe ride home before festivities begin if you plan on drinking alcohol. Designate a sober driver, bring money for the bus, bring money and a phone number for a cab, or see if your community has a sober ride program.
- Never drink and drive. If you did not plan ahead and have been drinking, don’t get behind the wheel. Use any of the safe alternatives listed above or call a sober friend or family member who lives nearby.
- Don’t let friends drink and drive. If someone you know is about to drive while impaired, take his or her keys and help him or her find a safe ride home.
- Call your local law enforcement if you spot a drunk driver on the road.
- Avoid the dangers of binge drinking by limiting your number of drinks and pacing yourself. Have no more than one drink per hour and drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage to stay hydrated and to help you pace yourself.
- Eat a meal before you drink to help slow alcohol absorption. You should also continue eating while drinking.
- Celebrate with festive July 4th mocktails in place of alcohol.