This Independence Day, law enforcement in Independence County is participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign. During the holiday weekend, law enforcement will work 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.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving accounted for 29% (10,511) of motor vehicle traffic deaths in 2018. With Fourth of July festivities wrapping up in the evening or late at night, more cars will be on the roads at night. In 2018 alone, 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.
“It’s a shame we have to keep repeating ourselves, but the message remains the same: Drunk driving is deadly and illegal, and it’s illegal in every state in this country,” said Independence County Sheriff Shawn Stephens. “We want our community to stay safe, so make no mistake: If you are caught drinking and driving, you will be pulled over and arrested. Driving under the influence of any substance will land you a DUI.”
“Sadly, many people think driving impaired is no big deal,” said Sheriff Stephens. “The consequences are serious: If we catch you driving under the influence of alcohol, we will arrest you, and you’ll receive a DUI. That DUI will follow you throughout your life. Under no circumstances is it ever acceptable to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after you’ve been drinking. Doing so endangers you, your passengers, and everyone on the road with you. If you’re heading to Fourth of July parties this summer, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
Celebrate with a Plan
This Fourth of July, the Independence County Sheriff’s Department, and NHTSA urge drivers to designate a sober driver before heading out for the day. If you plan on drinking, plan on not driving.
The Independence County Sheriff’s Department recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:
- 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-sharing service to get home safely.
- If available, use your community’s sober ride program.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local authorities.
- Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
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. For more information on impaired driving, visit https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/drunk-driving/drive-sober-or-get-pulled-over/4th-july.
Paid for by the Crowley’s Ridge Development Council, your Regional Prevention Providers.