The Acadiana Regional Transportation Safety Coalition is reminding Louisiana drivers to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday safely by not drinking and driving.
The Coalition has partnered with the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to ensure drivers plan ahead for a safe weekend.
According to the NHTSA, 515 people died in traffic crashes during the 2019 July 4th holiday. Thirty-eight percent or 198 of those fatalities occurred due to alcohol impaired driving.
From 2015 to 2019, there were 1,339 people killed in drunk-driving crashes over the 4th of July holiday period. Thirty-eight percent (512) of the drivers killed were alcohol-impaired (BAC of .08+). During the 2019 July 4th holiday period, 69% of those who died in alcohol-impaired crashes were in a crash involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above .15. Nighttime hours are especially dangerous: Over the 2019 July 4th holiday period, of the 198 people who died in alcohol-impaired motor vehicle traffic crashes, almost 4 out of 5 (79%) of them occurred in nighttime crashes (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.).
“We want our community to have a happy and safe Independence Day, one that they’ll remember for years to come, for all the right reasons,” said Ron Czajkowski, ARTSC Safety Coordinator. “We’ve partnered with NHTSA to help remind drivers that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. Under no circumstance is it ever okay to drink and drive. This behavior is illegal, it’s deadly, and it’s selfish. Do everyone in your community a favor: If you’ll be drinking at a Fourth of July party, or for any occasion, plan ahead for a sober ride. Make this your plan for any day you are drinking.”
Celebrate with a Plan
This Fourth of July, ARTSC and NHTSA urge drivers to designate a sober driver before heading out for the evening.
- Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
- If available, use your community’s sober ride program.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact the Louisiana State Police or the local police department in your community.
- Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
For more information on impaired driving, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.
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