Most Americans may not realize it, but the Fourth of July – Independence Day holiday is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes. That is why this Fourth of July, the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office 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.
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.
To save lives on our roadways this Fourth of July holiday, the Sheriff’s Office will be placing additional focus on the enforcement of the DWI law through the use of saturation patrols, sobriety checkpoints, and other enforcement methods. 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.
There are numerous consequence for persons who operate a vehicle while they are intoxicated. These include the risk of killing or harming others and, if arrested, large fines, jail time, insurance hikes, and loss of driving privileges.
Those who try to drink and drive this Fourth of July should be forewarned. The Sheriff’s Office will be out in force looking for impaired drivers. There will be no warnings and no excuses. If you drive impaired, you will be arrested.
The Sheriff’s Office recommends these simple tips for a safe Fourth of July holiday:
- · Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
- · Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
- · If you’re impaired, use a taxi, or call a sober friend or family member.
- · If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact law enforcement to report it.
- · If you know someone who is about to drive impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office wishes everyone a safe and fun-filled Independence Day holiday next week.
/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff