JACKSON, Wyo. (KIFI) - This Fourth of July holiday, the Wyoming Highway Patrol is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the national Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving awareness campaign to promote sober driving and help keep impaired drivers off the road.
As you celebrate the holiday this summer, keep these statistics in mind:
- In 2020, 493 people died in motor vehicle crashes over the July 4th holiday period (6 p.m. July 2 – 5:59 a.m. July 6, 2020). Forty-one percent (201) of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.
- 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.
- 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 fatalities occurred in nighttime crashes (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.).
- The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2020 was 3.1 times higher at night than during the day.
- Approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers (with BACs at or above .08). In 2020, there were 11,654 people killed in drunk-driving crashes.
- Everywhere in the United States, driving with a BAC of .08 or higher is illegal, except in Utah, where the limit is .05.
- Although it’s illegal to drive when impaired by alcohol, in 2020, one person was killed every 45 minutes in a drunk-driving crash on our nation’s roads.
- Men are more likely than women to be driving drunk when involved in fatal crashes. In 2020, 22% of males were drunk, compared to 16% of females.
You Can’t Afford to Drink and Drive
- The average DUI costs $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, and more.
- The financial impact of impaired-driving crashes is devastating. Based on 2010 numbers (the most recent year for which cost data is available), impaired-driving crashes cost the United States $44 billion annually.
- If you’re caught drinking and driving, you can face jail time. That arrest will follow you for many years to come.
- Drinking and driving can cause you to lose your driver’s license and vehicle. This could inhibit you from getting to work, resulting in lost wages and job loss.
Plan for a Safe Celebration
Always remember to plan ahead when you will be celebrating with alcohol. Make arrangements for a sober driver to take you home if you plan to drink. Before you start celebrating this Independence Day, look over these safety tips to keep you, your loved ones, and everyone else safe on the road.
- Only drive 100% sober. That means no alcoholic beverages, not even one. Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
- Plan ahead: If you wait until you’ve been drinking to make a smart decision, you might not. Before you have one drink, designate a sober driver who won’t be drinking.
- You have options: designate a sober driver or use public transportation or a ride service. Getting home safely is always worth it. Some communities even have a sober ride program.
- If it’s your turn to be the designated driver, take your job seriously and don’t drink.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact the Wyoming Highway Patrol at 307-777-4321 or 911.
- Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and let a sober driver get your friend home safely.
This Fourth of July, commit to only driving when you’re 100% sober. If you’re the driver – you can’t drink. As you head out to celebrate, remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.