Magic Valley, Wood River Valley, and MiniCassia Area — July 4th celebrations often include cook-outs, picnics, boating, time spent with family and friends and, of course, fireworks. But for too many Americans, the nation’s annual celebration is filled with tragedy, as it is one of the deadliest holidays of the year when it comes to alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities.
That’s why the Idaho State Police will be out in force during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, cracking down on impaired drivers with aggressive Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest enforcement.
Statistics gathered from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the past 25 years show that, on average, nearly half of all deadly traffic crashes over each year’s July 4th holiday involved some level of alcohol.
In fact, 410 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationally during the Fourth of July weekend in 2009. Of that number, 40 percent involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.
“The Fourth of July is a time most Americans spend celebrating with family and friends, but it is also one of the year’s deadliest times on our roadways. So we will be out in force cracking down on drunk driving. If you are caught driving impaired, you will be arrested,” said Sergeant Kent Oliver.
All 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have made it illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher.
“We want people to be careful all weekend, but particularly at night,” said Sergeant Kent Oliver. “The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2009 was four times higher at night than during the day.”
Impaired driving is one of America’s deadliest problems. In 2009 alone, 10,839 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes, accounting for nearly 32 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in the United States. That’s an average of one impaired-driving fatality every 48 minutes in 2009.
Sergeant Kent Oliver said that impaired drivers not only take the risk of hurting or killing themselves or someone else, the trauma and financial costs of an alcohol-impaired-driving crash or an arrest can be significant. Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates and dozens of other unanticipated expenses.
“Alcohol impairs many of the skills that safe driving requires. So we will be showing zero tolerance, and anyone caught driving with a BAC of .08 or higher will be arrested,” said Sergeant Kent Oliver. “It’s simply not worth the risk to you or to the thousands of innocent victims who are hurt or killed each year by drunk drivers. So if you are over the limit, you will get busted.”
For more information, please visit www.StopImpairedDriving.org.