While many look forward to celebrating the Fourth of July, for some, it’s a painful reminder of a loved one they’ve lost due to drunk driving. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, more people die from a car crash involving a drunk driver in July than any other month of the year. Compared to other major holidays, the Fourth of July averages a higher percentage of drunk driving fatalities. It’s also important to remember that alcohol, while prominent, is not the only cause of impaired driving. Opioids and over the counter medicine can also cause drowsiness and alter visual and motor skills while behind the wheel. While no one plans to drive under the influence, there is no excuse for doing it, and it can be avoided entirely by thinking ahead and coordinating a safe ride home. Your actions now can help keep you, other drivers, and pedestrians on the road safe.
When choosing a safe mode of transportation, consider a rideshare service, a designated driver, or public transportation. Walking home or riding a bike or scooter while intoxicated can also be dangerous and put yourself and others at risk. Consider the following tips while planning your Fourth of July celebration.
- Anytime you plan to use a rideshare service, make sure to check the license plate and confirm the name of the driver before getting into the vehicle. Always wear your seat belt and ask to be dropped off in a safe, well-lit area away from traffic.
- A designated driver is not the person who has had the least to drink, but rather someone who is completely sober. Coordinate with a driver ahead of time and remind them of the responsibility they are taking on.
- If you choose to use public transportation, be aware of the schedule, and know at what time the last ride will be. While waiting for a bus or train, be mindful of your surroundings, especially if you’re traveling alone. Find a seat near the front by the driver, and never fall asleep during the ride.
If you’re hosting a get together this Fourth of July, make sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks and pay attention to your guests and their plans to get home. Additionally, be mindful of social distancing and COVID-19 restrictions while planning your festivities. Stay safe this Independence Day and remember if you drink, don’t drive.
To learn more about what you can do to help keep yourself and others safe visit, MaricopaCountyAttorney.org/DUI