Most Americans may not realize it, but the Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes.
That’s why this Fourth of July, the Texarkana Arkansas Police is stepping up enforcement efforts as part of the ongoing “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement crackdown to catch and arrest impaired drivers who put themselves and others at risk.
“The Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays due to an increase in impaired-driving fatalities,” said Public Information Officer Kristi Mitchell. “Too many people die behind the wheel each year due to those who choose to drive after drinking, so our officers will be out in full force this Fourth of July showing zero tolerance for impaired drivers.”
Impaired-driving crashes killed more than 10,000 people in 2010, accounting for 31 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in the United States. That’s an average of one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality every 51 minutes.
But the percentage of fatalities from impaired driving spike around the Fourth of July. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 392 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes during the Fourth of July holiday in 2010 (6:00pm July 2- 5:59am July 6.) Of those fatalities, 39 percent were in crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
To save lives on our roadways this Fourth of July, officers will be cracking down on impaired driving through increased patrols, and other enforcement methods.
Officer Mitchell said that there are numerous consequences as a result of being caught driving impaired, such as the risk of killing or harming others, jail time, insurance hikes, potential loss of driver’s license, just to name a few.
“Those who try to drink and drive this Fourth of July should be forewarned. We will be out in force looking for impaired drivers, and we will catch and arrest you. No warnings. No excuses. If you drive impaired, you will be arrested,” said Officer Mitchell
The Texarkana Arkansas Police Department recommends these simple tips for a safe Fourth of July:
* Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
* Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
* If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
* If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to call 911.
* And remember, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
* For more information, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/drivesober.
The Texarkana Arkansas Police Department receives a community traffic safety grant through the Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office which allows additional DWI Traffic Units on the roadways during holidays.
Individuals with information are strongly encouraged to call local police (TAPD 903-798-3130, TTPD 903-798-3116, MCSO 870-774-3001) or Texarkana Crime Stoppers (903-793-STOP. Anyone with information will remain anonymous.
Thank you and you can visit the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department online at http://www.txkusa.org/arkpolice.
Officer Kristi Mitchell
Public Information Officer
903-798-3187 (office) 903-824-4199 (cell)