For Immediate Release
Date: July 03, 2022 2:00 PM
Ahead of July 4th Celebrations, SRPD and NHTSA Reminds Drivers: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
San Rafael, CA — This Independence Day, law enforcement in San Rafael are participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over impaired driving awareness campaign. The primary goal of the law enforcement presence will be to prevent the tragedies previously seen around the July 4th holiday.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 11,654 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes that involved an alcohol-impaired driver in 2020. That same year, 493 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the July 4th holiday period (6 p.m. July 2 to 5:59 a.m. July 6). Forty-one percent (201) of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.
It’s important to understand that impairment can occur even after just one or two alcoholic drinks. “While we wish everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July holiday, we need to be clear about drunk driving,” said Motor Officer Joseph Jordan. “Sadly, many people make the wrong decision to drive after drinking. If anyone thinks they won’t get caught, they should think again. A DUI costs thousands of dollars and puts you and your passengers and everyone on the road at risk. For the cost of a sober ride, that can be avoided and keep people safe. There’s never an excuse to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after you’ve been drinking.”
From 2016 to 2020, there were 1,390 drivers killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the 4th of July holiday period. Thirty-nine percent (542) of the drivers killed were alcohol-impaired (with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher), and more than half (51%) were between the ages of 21-34. With many Fourth of July festivities wrapping up late in the evening, nighttime hours are especially dangerous: Over the 2020 July 4th holiday period, of the 201 people who died in alcohol-impaired motor vehicle traffic crashes, 85% of the crashes were at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.).
“Sadly, many people have made a terrible habit of driving after drinking,” said Sergeant Justin Graham. “Thinking you won’t get caught, or that you won’t cause a crash, is just arrogant and selfish. We know how to spot a drunk driver on the road. And trust me, you can’t afford a DUI — it will cost you thousands of dollars and will follow you your whole life. For the cost of a sober ride, you can avoid all that and keep people safe. There’s never an excuse to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after you’ve been drinking. Doing so puts you, your passengers, and everyone on the road with you in harm’s way.”
Celebrate with a Plan
This Fourth of July, the San Rafael Police Department and NHTSA are working together to urge drivers to designate a sober driver before drinking any alcohol. If you plan on drinking, plan on not driving.
Remember that it’s never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, SRPD recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:
- Designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely. It could save you $10,000 on a DUI.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 9-1-1.
- 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.
This Fourth of July, commit to only driving 100 percent sober. Don’t lose your independence on Independence Day, and don’t be a deadly risk to yourself and other innocent people. Remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. For more information on impaired driving, visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.
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Posted: July 03, 2022 2:04 PDT by Sergeant Justin Graham