“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”
Every year Americans head out on our nation’s highways to celebrate the Fourth of July at picnics, parties, parades and more. For many, the celebrating includes drinking alcohol, which too often leads to drunk driving on one of the most heavily traveled holidays of the year.
There were 397 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2014 over the Fourth of July holiday (6 p.m. July 3rd to 5:59 a.m. July 7th). Of those fatalities, 164 people (41%) were killed in crashes involving a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
In 2014, 9,967 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes nationwide—almost a third of all crash fatalities.
And from 2010-2014, 39 percent of all traffic fatalities over the Fourth of July period occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.
In every state, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. Yet, among the 164 people killed in drunk-driving crashes over the 2014 July Fourth period, 113 people died in crashes involving at least one driver with a BAC of .15 or higher—almost twice the set limit.
This Fourth of July, the Jackson Police Department will be out in full force, cracking down on drunk driving by pulling over those individuals who put lives in danger.
“Take the time to plan ahead if you intend to consume alcohol this Independence Day. Having a plan can ensure that you get home safely and others on the roadways do too,” said Chief of Police Todd Smith “The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign means zero tolerance for drunk driving in our community.”
The Nation Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows that young drivers (18 to 34 years old) are especially at risk of driving drunk. In fact, 58 percent of the drivers 18 to 34 years old who were killed over the July Fourth period in 2014 were driving drunk (BAC of .08 or higher). Motorcycle operators are also overrepresented as the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers in fatal crashes. In 2014, more than a quarter (29%) of motorcycle operators in fatal crashes had BACs of .08 or higher.
Drunk drivers are also more common at night. Over the July Fourthholiday in 2014, more than two-fifths (42%) of the drivers in nighttime (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) fatal crashes were alcohol-impaired, compared to 12 percent of drivers in fatal crashes during the day.
If you’re caught driving drunk this Independence Day, you will be arrested. The consequences of drunk driving are that serious. Not only could you put your life and the lives of others at risk, but a DWUI arrest means a loss of freedom and money, including going to jail, losing your license, and paying steep financial expenses. The average DUI cost? About $10,000.
“This Fourth of July, don’t risk losing your life or your independence by drinking and driving. Help make everyone’s holiday in Jackson safer by driving sober, said Lt. Cole Nethercott.
The Jackson Police Department recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving.
- Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
- If you choose to drink, do so responsibly and don’t overdo it.
- Designate a sober driver or use public transportation such as the START bus to get home safely.
- Or use one of the many local taxi companies who can help get you home without taking undo risk by driving while intoxicated.
- Only walk if you can do so responsibly. Make sure you stay out of the roadway, wear bright colored clothing so others can see you at night, and know your address should it become necessary to help facilitate transportation for you.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact the Teton County Dispatch Center at 733-2331.
- If you know people who are about to drive or ride after drinking, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
Along with the enhanced enforcement effort, the Wyoming Highway Patrol is urging drivers to help keep Wyoming’s roadways safe by calling the Report Every Drunk Driver Immediately (REDDI) hotline number at 1-800-442-9090 to report suspected drunk drivers. Callers should be prepared to provide the dispatcher with a description of the vehicle, its location, and direction of travel.
As of this release there have been 37 traffic deaths in Wyoming in 2016, compared to 61 this time last year.
Teton County has had three major intoxicated pedestrian related incidents in the past 8 months, 2 that resulted in fatalities and 1 serious/life threatening injury…the common theme to them all, excessive drinking.