Law enforcement from throughout the country will be cracking down on impaired drivers beginning today and extending through July 4th. The impaired driving crackdown comes as motorists prepare to celebrate the July 4thholiday weekend.
“Statistics gathered from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the past 25 years show that, on average, nearly half of all deadly traffic crashes over each year’s July 4thholiday involved some level of alcohol,” according to Michael Witter, Midwest Regional Administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“In fact, 410 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationally during the Fourth of Julyvweekend in 2009. Of that number, 40 percent involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher,” he said.
“That’s whylaw enforcement throughout the Midwest and around the nation will be out in full force cracking down on drunk drivers during the Fourth of Julyholiday period with an aggressive Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. enforcement blitz,” said Witter. “Too many people still don’t comprehend that alcohol, drugs and driving just don’t mix. Impaired driving is no accident—nor is it a victimless crime,” he added.
“Impaired driving is one of America’s deadliest problems. In 2009 alone, 10,839 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes, accounting for nearly 32 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in the United States. That’s an average of one impaired-driving fatality every 48 minutes in 2009,” Witter said. “We also want people to be careful all weekend, but particularly at night. The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2009 was four times higher at night than during the day,” he continued.
Witter emphasized the need for motorists to remember the following guidelines for enjoying a safe and festive holiday without jeopardizing their lives and the lives of the others who may be on the road:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
- Before drinking, please designate a sober driver and give that person your keys.
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
- Use your community’s Sober Rides program.
- If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement.
“Driving impaired is simply not worth the risk. Getting arrested for impaired driving is not the worst thing that can happen to an impaired driver. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can change your life forever,” he stressed.
“So remember, no matter what you drive—a passenger car, pickup, or motorcycle—if you are caught driving impaired, you will be arrested,” Witter concluded.
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