199. That’s the number of people who died on Fourth of July weekend in 2013 as a result of drunk driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In fact, over the past five years, from 2009 to 2013, a total of 750 people died during the July 4th holiday in crashes that involved a driver with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more.
But alcohol-related car accidents are not the only cause of death at this time of year. Celebrators have been killed in non-dui accidents and fireworks accidents, among others. When you add everything up, this is an incredibly dangerous time and one of the deadliest for motorists—far deadlier than New Years Eve or New Years Day. That may surprise you, but it’s true. The Fourth of July greatly surpasses any other holiday when it comes to fatalities.
We don’t mean to put a damper on your party, but it’s absolutely worth stressing the importance of taking the proper safety measures when that weekend arrives. Are you planning on being out on the roads during Fourth of July weekend? It’s important that you know a few things before you get out there, so you can keep yourself, your family, and everyone else on the roads as safe as possible.
How can I spot a drunk driver?
You may not be planning on drinking at all this holiday weekend, but it’s everybody else that you need to watch out for. Alcohol is a leading cause of deaths and injuries around this particular holiday, and it is critical that you do your part to prevent accidents by practicing defensive driving.
Here are some things to look out for to help you spot a drunk driver:
- Irregular speed (speeding up or slowing down)
- Unnecessary braking
- Inconsistent signaling
For a full list of signs to be on the look out for, check out this list compiled by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. If a driver is doing any of the above things and you suspect him or her of being drunk, stay far away from the vehicle and do not attempt to pass it. If possible, take down the license plate number and other identifiers of the car, but do not put yourself in danger to do so. Pull over and call 911 to report as much information as you can. Don’t ever assume that someone else will call. Take the initiative to be the one who calls. This could save someone’s life.
How do I know if I’ve had too many drinks to drive?
How many drinks are too many? Any.
Drinking and driving do not mix—they just don’t. If you are going to drink, the criminal defense attorneys at DuBoff & Associates, Chartered urge you to be responsible. Always have a designated driver, whether that’s someone you know, a taxi, or an Uber. It doesn’t necessarily take a BAC of .08 to land you in trouble with the law. You may just be buzzed, but you can still be penalized with license suspension, hefty fines, or time in jail. Don’t take your chances, and don’t put others’ lives at risk.
We have seen how a DUI conviction can change someone’s life drastically. It is a serious offense that takes a serious defense. Contact us if you have any questions about drinking and driving. If you have been pulled over and have been charged with a DUI, get legal help immediately. Don’t try to fight your charges on your own.
Most importantly, be safe out there, be smart, and have fun this holiday weekend!