Story Category: Crime and Punishment »
4th of July Drunk Driver Crackdown
Calvert County, MD - 6/29/2011
July 4th celebrations often include cook-outs, picnics, boating, time spent with family and friends and, of course, fireworks. But for too many Americans, the nation’s annual celebration is filled with tragedy, as it is one of the deadliest holidays of the year when it comes to alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities.
That’s why the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office will be out in force during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, cracking down on impaired drivers with aggressive Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest enforcement.
Statistics gathered from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the past 25 years show that, on average, nearly half of all deadly traffic crashes over each year’s July 4th holiday involved some level of alcohol.
In fact, 410 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationally during the Fourth of July weekend in 2009.Of that number, 40 percent involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.
“The Fourth of July is a time most Americans spend celebrating with family and friends, but it is also one of the year’s deadliest times on our roadways. So we will be out in force cracking down on drunk driving. If you are caught driving impaired, you will be arrested,” said Sheriff Mike Evans.
All 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have made it illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher.
“We want people to be careful all weekend, but particularly at night,” said Sheriff Evans.“The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2009 was four times higher at night than during the day.”
Impaired driving is one of America’s deadliest problems.In 2009 alone, 10,839 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes, accounting for nearly 32 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in the United States.That’s an average of one impaired-driving fatality every 48 minutes in 2009.
Sheriff Evans said that impaired drivers not only take the risk of hurting or killing themselves or someone else, the trauma and financial costs of an alcohol-impaired-driving crash or an arrest can be significant.Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates and dozens of other unanticipated expenses.
“Alcohol impairs many of the skills that safe driving requires. So we will be showing zero tolerance, and anyone caught driving with a BAC of .08 or higher will be arrested,” said Sheriff Evans. “It’s simply not worth the risk to you or to the thousands of innocent victims who are hurt or killed each year by drunk drivers. So if you are over the limit, you will get busted.”
The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office encourages a few simple precautions to keep themselves and loved ones safe:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
- If you’re impaired, don’t get behind the wheel.Call a taxi, use public transportation or call a sober friend or family member so you are sure to get home safely.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact the local authorities— because you may just save someone’s life.
- Remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk.Take the keys and help them make other arrangements to get where they are going safely.
“Remember, Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, so whether you’ve had way too many, or just one too many, it’s not worth the risk to yourself or others to get behind the wheel,” said Sheriff Evans. “Please plan ahead and designate a sober driver before the party begins.” For more information, please visit www.StopImpairedDriving.org or contact DFC J. Dean at 410-535-2800.
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