PROTECT YOUR FREEDOM THIS INDEPENDENCE DAY: DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER
Additional Information Contact:
ASP Highway Safety Office — Bridget White
June 26, 2023
This Independence Day, protect your freedom and the lives of others by committing to sober driving. Arkansas law enforcement will be teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over high-visibility impaired driving enforcement campaign. The primary goal of the increased law enforcement presence will be to help prevent tragedies previously seen around the July 4th holiday.
According to NHTSA, 13,384 motor vehicle crash-related deaths in 2021 involved alcohol-impaired drivers. This represented 31 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States for the year, and a 14.2 percent increase from 2020. That same year, 538 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the July 4th holiday alone (6 p.m. July 2 to 5:59 a.m. July 6). Thirty-nine percent (212) of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. With many Fourth of July festivities wrapping up in the evening or late at night, more cars are on the roads at night. Over the 2021 July 4th holiday period, of the 212 people who died in alcohol-impaired motor vehicle traffic crashes, 82% of those fatalities occurred in nighttime crashes (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.).
“During the July 4th holiday, we will pull over and arrest drunk drivers,” said Colonel Mike Hagar, Arkansas Public Safety Secretary. “We have zero tolerance. Everyone knows the law: It is illegal to drink and drive. Still, people ignore the danger and drive after consuming alcohol. We know how to spot a drunk driver on the road. Drunk driving is selfish and arrogant, and it endangers the drivers, their passengers, and other people on the road.”
Remember: A few dollars spent on a ride is a lot cheaper than a DWI, which can cost up to $10,000. Something else to consider: Don’t ever be too proud or embarrassed to ask for a ride. Allowing a sober driver to help you get home keeps you and others safe. Want to know what’s more embarrassing than drunkenly asking for a sober ride home? Spending the night in jail. Having your car impounded. Losing your job or your security clearance. Take your pick.
Always have a plan before you head out for the evening. If you wait until after you’ve been drinking to figure out how to get from one place to the next, you might already be too impaired to make the right choices.
The Arkansas Highway Safety Office 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.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 9-1-1.
- If you know someone who is about to drive a vehicle or operate a motorcycle while impaired, help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.
- Buckle up, always. Your seat belt is your best defense against a drunk driver.
For more information on impaired driving, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDArkansas.org
Arkansas State Police Public Affairs Office | 501-618-8232 | firstname.lastname@example.org