It’s time for Americans to fire up the barbecue, hoist the flag, and grab a seat for that spectacular fireworks display.
But before you head out for the celebrations, make sure you plan for a sober way home.
The Huron County Safe Communities Coalition (HCSCC) is promoting the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign during the Fourth of July holiday period, which began Saturday and continues through Friday, to put an end to drunk driving. In support of law enforcement’s dedication to protecting the lives of residents in their communities, you’ll see increased enforcement on the roads with zero tolerance for those who drive impaired.
During the 2017 Fourth of July holiday period (6 p.m. June 30 to 5:59 a.m. July 5), 237 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. These deaths accounted for 39 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic crashes that occurred over the holiday period. The deaths also represent a 23-percent increase from 2016, during which 192 people were killed during the same holiday period. That’s 237 families who will forever remember Independence Day with a heavy heart and nightmarish memories.
Celebrate with a plan
This Fourth of July, the HCSCC and NHTSA urge drivers to designate a sober driver before heading out for the evening. If you plan on drinking, plan on not driving.
Remember these tips for a safe night on the roads:
• Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or a ride service to get home safely.
• Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android devices:, and Apple’s iTunes Store for iOS devices. SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
• If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement or dial *677.
• If you have a friend who is about to drink and drive, take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
The costs of impaired driving
Drinking and driving is dangerous, even if you’re “just buzzed.” When you drive impaired, you risk your life and safety, and the lives and safety of those riding with you and around you. Does mortality not get your attention? Maybe money will: An OVI arrest could cost you up to $10,000, not to mention the loss of your vehicle and driver’s license. You could face jail time, higher insurance rates, and hefty expenses from attorney’s fees, fines, car towing and repairs, and lost time at work. Imagine trying to explain that to your family, friends, or employer.
This Fourth of July, commit to only driving 100-percent sober. Don’t lose your independence on Independence Day, and don’t be a deadly risk to yourself and other innocent people. Remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.