This July Fourth, Tampa Bay Monitoring Wants You to Remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
Tips to Prevent Drunk Driving
- Designate a sober driver ahead of time before you start the party.
- If you become intoxicated, do not drive for ANY reason.
- Call a taxi/uber, phone a sober friend or family member, or use public transit.
- Try NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app that allows you to call a taxi or friend, and identify your location so you can be picked up.
- If someone you know has been drinking, stop him or her from driving. Take their keys, take them home, or help them arrange a sober ride.
- If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement. Your actions could help save a life.
This year, as we celebrate our country’s birthday, thousands of families will take to their cars, driving to neighborhood cookouts, family picnics, 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.
During the Fourth of July holiday period, which starts at 6 p.m. Friday, June 30, and ends on Wednesday, July 5 at 5:59 a.m., police will be out in full force reminding drivers to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Law enforcement will travel the region, looking to put a stop to drunk driving. Expect to see increased sobriety checkpoints, roving and saturation patrols, and other enforcement efforts. These enforcement campaigns are vital to public safety, and save lives. Statistics show us that drunk driving is a deadly epidemic in our nation. In fact, in 2015, 10,265 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes—almost a third of all traffic fatalities nationwide. As you head out to enjoy the long weekend, keep the following in mind:
- It is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Yet, over the 2015 Fourth of July holiday period (6 p.m. July 2 to 5:59 a.m. July 6), 146 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, and 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.
- 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.
- This year, law enforcement in Pinellas County is taking part in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign over the Fourth of July holiday to end drunk driving. This means increased enforcement with zero tolerance for those who drive impaired.
- The number of drunk-driving fatalities during the 2015 July Fourth holiday period is no exception to this trend. From 2011 to 2015, there were 751 people killed in drunk-driving crashes over the Fourth of July holiday periods.
- From 2014 to 2015, the number of overall drunk-driving-crash fatalities increased by 3 percent in the United States—from 9,943 people killed in 2014 to 10,265 in 2015.