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Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

July 4, 2018, 9:54 AM HST
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Stay safe as each year on July 4th, Americans celebrate the birth and freedoms of this country. Before you head out for your celebrations, make sure you plan for a sober way home. Law enforcement throughout the state is taking part in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, June 29 to July 5, 2018, to put an end to drunk driving. That is why the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are reminding drivers to drink responsibly this holiday and throughout the year. In support of law enforcement’s dedication to protecting the lives of residents in their communities, you’ll see increased enforcement on the roads with zero tolerance for those who drive impaired.

During the 2016 Fourth of July holiday (6 p.m. July 2 to 5:59 a.m. July 6), 188 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. This is a 28% increase from 2015, during which 146 people were killed during the same holiday period. That’s 188 families who will forever remember Independence Day with a heavy heart and nightmarish memories.

According to NHTSA, 37,461 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2016, and 28% (10,497) of those fatalities occurred in a crash during which the driver had a BAC over the legal limit of .08. With Fourth of July festivities wrapping up in the evening or late at night, more cars will be on the roads. Nighttime is especially dangerous: the rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes during the 2016 July Fourth holiday period was more than three times higher at night than it was during the day.

National Facts and Statistics:

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In 2016, 10,497 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes—almost a third of all traffic fatalities nationwide. To put it in perspective, that’s equal to about 20 jumbo jets crashing, with no survivors.

  • It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher in all 50 States and the District of Columbia—no exceptions.
  • Over the 2016 Fourth of July holiday (6 p.m. July 2 to 5:59 a.m. July 6), 188 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 or higher. This is a 28% increase from 2015, during which 146 people were killed during the same holiday period.
  • During the 2016 July Fourth holiday period, nearly half of those who died in a vehicle crash were involved in a crash with at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .15 or higher—almost twice the legal limit.
  • Alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes during the 2016 July Fourth holiday period was more than three times higher at night than it was during the day.
  • From 2012 to 2016, there were 780 people killed in drunk-driving crashes over the Fourth of July holiday periods.
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ADVICE FOR THE PUBLIC

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.
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The Costs of Drunk Driving:

Drinking and driving is dangerous, even if you’re “just buzzed.” When you drive impaired, you risk your life and safety, and the lives and safety of those riding with you and around you. Does mortality not get your attention? Maybe money will: A DUI arrest could cost you up to $10,000, not to mention the loss of your vehicle and driver’s license. You could face jail time, higher insurance rates, and hefty expenses from attorney fees, fines, car towing, repairs, and lost time at work. Imagine trying to explain that to your family, friends, or employer.

This Fourth of July, commit to only driving 100% sober. Don’t lose your independence on Independence Day, and don’t be a deadly risk to yourself and other innocent people. Remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. For more information on impaired driving, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.

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