July 2021 – If You Feel Different – You Drive Different
Drive Sober This Independence Day, and Every Day: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving
Washington County, Ohio — This Independence Day, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) want to remind drivers that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. However your celebrations may look this year, make sure you celebrate the birth of our nation safely. If you are under the influence of alcohol and you choose to get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you put everyone on the road in danger, including yourself. During the Fourth of July holiday, make sure you plan ahead for a safe weekend of festivities.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10,142 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2019 that involved an alcohol-impaired driver. With Fourth of July festivities wrapping up in the evening or late at night, more cars will be on the roads at night. In 2019, 515 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the July 4th holiday period (6 p.m. July 3 to 5:59 a.m. July 8). Thirty-eight percent (198) of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.
“We want our community to have a happy and safe Independence Day, one that they’ll remember for years to come, for all the right reasons,” said [Local Official]. “We’ve partnered with NHTSA to help remind drivers that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. Under no circumstance is it ever okay to drink and drive. This behavior is illegal, it’s deadly, and it’s selfish. Do everyone in your community a favor: If you’ll be drinking at a Fourth of July party, or for any occasion, plan ahead for a sober ride.”
From 2015 to 2019, there were 1,339 people killed in drunk-driving crashes over the 4th of July holiday period. Thirty-eight percent (512) of the drivers killed were alcohol-impaired (BAC of .08+). During the 2019 July 4th holiday period, 69% 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 2019 July 4th holiday period, of the 198 people who died in alcohol-impaired motor vehicle traffic crashes, almost 4 out of 5 (79%) of them occurred in nighttime crashes (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.).
CELEBRATE WITH A PLAN
Remember these tips for a safe night on the roads:
- 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 program.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact 911 or your local law enforcement agency.
- 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 driving 100-percent sober, because Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
For more information on impaired driving, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.