Avoid a DUI on the Fourth of July

Don’t allow a drunk driving arrest take away from your Independence Day fun

PHOTO: Steven Lawrence | SouthPasadenan.com | Anyone who sees an impaired driver on the road should immediately contact law enforcement by dialing 911. It could save a life.

One of the most anticipated summertime holidays is here, and many may have begun planning their celebrations with friends and loved ones.

Alongside the fun and festivities, law enforcement agencies throughout California, including the South Pasadena Police Department, will be stepping up high visibility DUI enforcement for the Fourth of July holiday.

The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) reminds motorists that while Independence Day is most commonly recognized as a time for barbecues and fireworks, it is also one of the most dangerous of the year for DUI-related incidents and fatalities.

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Recent statistics provided by OTS shows that on one Fourth of July holiday period, 146 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver with a blood alcohol content .08 or higher.

A DUI without a crash involved can cost up to $10,000, the loss of a driver license and even a job.

“The fun associated with the Fourth of July can instantly turn tragic for those who fail to have a plan in place ahead of time,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “When planning, it is important to also remember that DUI doesn’t just mean booze. Consuming prescription drugs or marijuana puts you at the same risk for a DUI – and possibly even worse consequences when combined with alcohol.”

To help ensure a safe Fourth of July celebration this year, the California Office of Traffic Safety reminds drivers to have a plan in place before heading to a party or event. With so many options for safe and sober ride home, including rideshare services, there is no excuse for driving under the influence.

The OTS recommends party hosts to not let anyone drive when they have consumed enough alcohol, marijuana or prescription medications that may impair their judgment or impact their ability to drive.

For more information on staying safe on the Fourth of July, visit www.OTS.ca.gov.