4th of July DUI Awareness

2020 July 4th Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving


Independence Day marks the birth of our great nation — don’t let it mark the anniversary of a tragic, preventable vehicle crash. With all the backyard barbecues and merrymaking that occurs during the July 4th holiday weekend, the number of drunk drivers on the roads can surge. This Independence Day holiday, [Local Community] is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the national Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving awareness campaign to help keep impaired drivers off the road. Please remember these drunk-driving statistics as you prepare to party this summer:

  • In 2018, 193 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the July 4th holiday period (6 p.m. July 3 to 5:59 a.m. July 5). Forty percent (78) of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. This compares to 2017 when 38% of the July 4 holiday period fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.
  • During the 2018 July 4th holiday period, 71% of those who died in alcohol-impaired crashes were in a crash involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above .15.  
  • Nighttime hours are especially dangerous: Over the 2018 July 4th holiday period, of the 78 people who died in alcohol-impaired motor vehicle traffic crashes, all but 9 occurred during nighttime hours (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.).
  • From 2014 to 2018, there were 812 people killed in drunk-driving crashes over the Fourth of July holiday periods.
  • Approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers (with blood alcohol concentrations [BACs] of .08 or higher). In 2018, there were 10,511 people killed in drunk-driving crashes. To put it in perspective, that’s equal to about 20 jumbo jets crashing, with no survivors. 
  • Nationally, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher — no exceptions.
  • Of the traffic fatalities in 2018 among children 14 and younger, 22% (231) occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.
  • Despite the fact that it’s illegal to drive when impaired by alcohol, in 2018, one person was killed every 50 minutes by a drunk driver on our nation’s roads.
  • Men are more likely than women to be the driver in drunk driving fatal crashes. In 2018, 21% of male drivers involved in fatal crashes were drunk, compared to 14% of females.
  • In 2018, motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes had higher percentages of alcohol impairment than any other type of motor vehicle driver (25% for motorcycle riders, 21% for passenger car drivers, 19% for light-truck drivers, and 3% for drivers of large trucks).

The Cost of Drunk Driving

  • On average, a DUI can set you back $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, car towing, and more.
  • The financial impact from impaired-driving crashes is devastating. Based on 2010 numbers (the most recent year for which cost data is available), impaired-driving crashes cost the United States $44 billion annually[1].
  • If you’re caught drinking and driving, you could face jail time. Imagine trying to explain that to your friends and family or your place of employment.
  • Drinking and driving could cause you to lose your driver’s license and your vehicle. This could inhibit you from getting to work, resulting in lost wages and, potentially, job loss.

Celebrate with a Plan

Always remember to plan ahead if you will be celebrating. If you plan to drink, plan for a sober driver to take you home. Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take that role seriously and do not consume alcohol, not even one drink.

  • Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
  • If available, use your community’s sober ride programs in Uber, Lyft, or similar services.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact the Kennett Square Police Department immediately via 911.
  • Do you a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

For more information, visit https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/drunk-driving/buzzed-driving-drunk-driving/4th-july.

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