With fireworks now legal in Iowa there will be even more celebrating for the Fourth of July and the preceding weekend. Unfortunately, that celebrating too often includes misuse of alcohol which may lead to drunk driving. Because the high fatality rate over recent Fourth of July holidays, there will be additional law enforcement on Iowa’s roads as well as the entire nation.
The most recent information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that nationally over the 2015 Fourth of July holiday (6 p.m. July 2-6 a.m. July 6) 146 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, and 92 people died in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .15 or higher — almost twice the legal limit.
In Iowa there were five fatalities in 2015 with three alcohol related and five in 2016 of which four were alcohol related.
Nationwide, the number of overall drunk-driving traffic fatalities increased by three percent from 9,943 in 2014 to 10,265 in 2015. That is one person killed every 51 minutes or the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing with no survivors.
It is never okay to drink and drive. With all of today’s options for getting home safely (designate a sober driver before the festivities begin, call a cab or Uber, or local transportation alternatives) there is no excuse to drive after drinking. Don’t risk endangering yourself or your loved ones.
The Story City Police Department, Iowa Department of Public Safety and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau remind you to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over!”