Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not worth the risk. Serious car crashes as a result of impaired driving occur during every major holiday in the United States. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, more people die from a car accident involving a drunk driver on the Fourth of July than on any other major holiday. Nationwide, alcohol-impaired fatalities make up 28% of all traffic fatalities. During the Fourth of July holiday, that number increase to 38%.
While alcohol is the most common factor in these accidents, it's not the only one. With the passage of Proposition 207, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Arizona, some may be inclined to drive while high. The facts remain the same; driving while under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, prescriptions, or other drugs is illegal and highly dangerous.
Your actions now can help keep you, other drivers, and pedestrians on the road safe. Consider this your reminder to make a plan for your Fourth of July festivities. If you're planning on hosting, make sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks and help make arrangements for anyone unable to drive themselves home safely. If you're planning on celebrating the holiday elsewhere, make sure you have a designated driver, a rideshare app, or a schedule of public transportation.
Just as important as planning is staying focused and alert while driving home during a holiday weekend. While long weekends tend to be busy overall, the most dangerous time to be on the road is between midnight and 2 am when bars start to close and people begin to head home. If you see someone driving in an unsafe manner that could cause harm to others on the road, keep your distance and call 911. Whether you're a driver or passenger, don't forget to use your seat belt, it could save your life.
Take time to review Arizona’s DUI laws and learn more about impaired driving to keep yourself and others safe on the road.