On July 4th, our country celebrates its independence with picnics, barbecues, and backyard parties. Don’t let your independence be compromised by an unwise—and deadly—decision to drink and drive. This Fourth of July, law enforcement in Pinellas County are taking part in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign June 29 through July 5, 2018, to put an end to drunk driving.
This means you’ll see increased enforcement accepting no excuses for those who drive impaired. This Independence Day, let’s all work together to spread the life-saving message that drunk driving is unacceptable, deadly, and illegal behavior. It puts drivers and passengers at risk, as well as other road users. In fact, in 2016, an average of one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 50 minutes. As you, your friends, and your family head out to the July Fourth festivities this summer, keep safety at the forefront. During the Fourth of July holiday weekend, make sure you plan for a safe week of festivities, keeping in mind this vital message: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
Please remember these drunk-driving statistics as you prepare to party this summer:
- In 2016, 10,497 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes—almost a third of all traffic fatalities nationwide. To put it in perspective, that’s equal to about 20 jumbo jets crashing, with no survivors.
- It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher in all 50 States and the District of Columbia—no exceptions.
- Over the 2016 Fourth of July holiday (6 p.m. July 2 to 5:59 a.m. July 6), 188 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 or higher. This is a 28-percent increase from 2015, during which 146 people were killed during the same holiday period.
- During the 2016 July Fourth holiday period, nearly half of those who died in a vehicle crash were involved in a crash with at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .15 or higher—almost twice the legal limit.
- Alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes during the 2016 July Fourth holiday period was more than three times higher at night than it was during the day.
- From 2012 to 2016, there were 780 people killed in drunk-driving crashes over the Fourth of July holiday periods.