Featured Articles

Celebrate Fourth of July Weekend Responsibly

June 30, 2017, 4:41 PM HST
* Updated July 2, 9:09 AM
Listen to this Article
3 minutes
Loading Audio...
A
A
A

This year as we celebrate Fourth of July, thousands of families will be driving to neighborhood parties, family barbecues and other summer festivities. Sadly, some of those families’ Independence Day will end in tragedy, as too many irresponsible people will decide to drink and drive.

Unfortunately, their bad choices will have lasting effects on families.

That is why the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are reminding drivers to drink responsibly this holiday and throughout the year with the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

This year, Americans will celebrate the Fourth on a Tuesday, which means the holiday weekend starts at 6 p.m. Friday, June 30, and ends on Wednesday, July 5, at 5:59 a.m.

In 2015, over the Fourth of July holiday period, 238 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

During 2012-16, there were nine fatalities on Hawai‘i’s roadways over the Fourth of July holiday, and six of the nine fatalities were alcohol-and-drug related.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

Drivers should expect to see more patrol vehicles and sobriety checkpoints this Fourth of July weekend, so make sure you obey the law:

Don’t drink and drive and don’t let your friends do it, either.

Keep in mind that officers conduct impaired driving enforcement year round, not just during this holiday period. Every week throughout the year, police statewide conduct sobriety checkpoints as part of our Drive Sober of Get Pulled Over campaign.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

National Facts & Statistics

  • From 2011 to 2015, there were 751 people killed in drunk-driving crashes over the Fourth of July holiday periods.
  • During the 2015 Fourth of July holiday period, 46 percent of the young drivers (18 to 34 years old) killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes were alcohol-impaired (BAC of .08 or higher).
  • The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes during the 2015 July Fourth holiday period was over three times higher at night than it was during the day.
  • It is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 g/dL or higher in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Yet, of the 238 people killed in drunk driving crashes during the 2015 Fourth of July holiday period, 92 people died in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .15 or higher – almost twice the legal limit.

Plan Before You Party

  • Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
  • Designate a sober driver or use public transportation to get home safely.
  • Download the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) SaferRide app, available for Android and Apple. The app can help users call a taxi or a friend for a ride home, and help you identify your location so you can be picked up.

Important Things to Remember

If you know someone who is about to drive or ride after drinking, be strong—take the keys and make arrangements to help them get safely to their destination.

  • While you’re out celebrating our country’s freedom, you could lose your own if you choose to drink and drive. Not only would you be risking your life and the lives of others—you could face a DUI arrest. The average DUI costs $10,000, making it difficult to recover financially.
  • And the cost doesn’t end there. Arrested drunk drivers face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other hefty expenses, from car towing and repairs to attorney fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, and more.

Comments

This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments

Newsletters

Get a quick summary of what’s happening on the Big Island with our daily & weekly email of news highlights.