Most Americans may not realize it, but the Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes.
That’s why this Fourth of July the Avoid the 12 DUI Task Force is stepping up enforcement efforts as part of the ongoing “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement crackdown to catch and arrest impaired drivers who put themselves and others at risk.
“The Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays due to an increase in impaired-driving fatalities,” said Sergeant Cervenka of Turlock Police Department. “Too many people die behind the wheel each year due to those who choose to drive after drinking, so our officers will be out in full force this Fourth of July showing zero tolerance for impaired drivers.”
The DUI Task Force plans to deploy special DUI Saturations Patrols on Tuesday and Wednesday each evening late into the night. With Independence Day falling on a Wednesday, many in our community will be taking the rest of the week off so DUI saturation patrols will be out in force throughout the weekend.
Impaired-driving crashes killed more than 10,000 people in 2010, accounting for 31 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in the United States. That’s an average of one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality every 51 minutes.
Often Fourth of July celebrations start during the day, but last well into the night – making the dangers from impaired drivers even higher at night.
“The amount of alcohol that one can consume during a day-long party or celebration can drastically impair the motor skills needed to drive safely,” said Sergeant Cervenka. “Add the fact that many others may be out driving impaired, and that visual skills also decrease at night, and you have a recipe for disaster.”
The Avoid the 12 DUI Task Force reminds everyone that there are numerous consequences as a result of being caught driving impaired, such as the risk of killing or harming others, jail time, insurance hikes, potential loss of driver’s license, just to name a few.
The Avoid the 12 DUI Task Force recommends these simple tips for a safe Fourth of July:
• Plan a safe way home before the fun begins;
• Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
• If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
• If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate, Report Drunk Drivers! Call 911;
• And remember, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
Funding for the Avoid Campaign is from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For more information on regional/statewide Avoid DUI Task Force campaigns, Enforcement Schedules and Daily DUI Arrest/Fatality statistics, visit the www.californiaavoid.org and www.StopImpairedDriving.org.
The Avoid Campaign will deploy sobriety checkpoints and DUI patrols again during the August/Labor Day DUI Mobilization beginning August 17th.