Americans love to celebrate the Fourth of July with family, friends, food and fireworks, but too often alcohol turns the party into a tragedy, making this iconic holiday one of the most deadly days of the year on the nation’s roads.
That’s why this Fourth of July the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department is stepping up police presence throughout the city 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.
“Local police will be out in force throughout this Independence Day, on the lookout for motorists who have had too much alcohol to be behind the wheel of a vehicle,” said Sgt. Nick Elrod. “Police will have zero tolerance for those who drink and drive this July 4th, putting themselves and everyone else on the roadways at risk of life and limb.”
According to data from NHTSA, during July 4th holiday period over the last five years (from 2008 to 2012), 765 people lost their lives in crashes involving drivers with a BAC of .08 or more. These fatalities account for 40% percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities over this same five-year period. Fourth of July celebrations often extend well into the evening and night, and statistics mark well the combined dangers of alcohol and night driving.
While death and injury are of course the most serious of possible consequences of drunk driving, there are other negative considerations that can affect lives for many years, including loss of a driver licenses, vehicle impoundment, jail time, lawyer fees, court costs, insurance hikes, just to name a few.
Texarkana Arkansas Police 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 contact 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.
Thank you and you can visit the Texarkana Arkansas Police Department online at http://www.txkusa.org/arkpolice.
Officer Kristi Mitchell
Public Information Officer