Help Police Keep Bosque County Independent from Drunk Driving this July 4th
‘No Refusal Campaign to Target People who Drink and Drive’
Americans love to celebrate the Fourth of July with family, friends, food, and fireworks, but all too often the festivities turn tragic on the nation’s roads. The fact is, this iconic American holiday is also one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Watch UR BAC program suggests that if you plan to celebrate with alcohol, you plan a safe ride home.
Throughout the region, local police will be out in force this July 4th holiday period, cracking down on drunk driving through increased roving and saturation patrols, and other enforcement efforts. Many areas will be using the “No Refusal” initiative. This initiative legally requires a suspected impaired driver who is pulled over to provide law enforcement with a breath or blood sample. Drivers who refuse to provide a breath sample will be taken to jail or a hospital where they will be forced to provide a blood sample.
Unfortunately, the latest statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation underscore the need for the July 4th crackdown, both statewide and in Bosque County. In 2012, there were 1,099 fatalities in Texas involving drivers who were legally drunk at the time of the crash (having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter or higher). Twenty-six alcohol-related deaths occurred in Texas during the 4th of July holiday period last year. Nighttime is particularly dangerous every day of the year, and the July 4th holiday is no exception.
County AgriLife Extension Agent Kate Whitney reminds you that, “Death is not the only consequence from impaired driving. Often, people have a hard time recuperating financially from the cost of an arrest or the crash itself.”
Here are a few simple tips to avoid a drunk-driving disaster:
- Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
- If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact law enforcement.
- And remember, “Drink. Drive. Go to Jail.” If you know someone who is about to drive impaired or ride with an impaired driver, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Watch UR BAC program is a free, statewide program to promote alcohol awareness, the dangers of impaired driving, and friends watching out for friends.