the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, This Fourth of July holiday, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) urges everyone to celebrate safely by planning ahead and designating a non-drinking driver if plans include alcohol. Backyard barbecues, fireworks displays and other festivities surrounding the Fourth of July holiday often include drinking, making it one of the deadliest holidays of the year.
Last year, from 6 p.m. July 1 to 5:59 a.m. July 5, 188 Americans were killed in crashes involving drunk drivers. During that timeframe, drunk driving deaths accounted for 41 percent of all fatalities on U.S. roadways.
“As we take time to celebrate our nation’s independence, everyone must take personal responsibility to keep this holiday happy and joyous. All too often, celebrations become tragedies because of one person’s careless and deadly decision to drink and drive,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “Designate a non-drinking driver, if you plan to drink alcohol.”
MADD is proud to work with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind the public that if you choose to drink and drive you will get caught. MADD supports NHTSA’s campaign, “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” and is grateful to law enforcement for their increased presence by conducting additional sobriety checkpoints to remove drunk drivers from our roads.
Sobriety checkpoints are extremely effective in preventing drunk driving deaths and injuries and can reduce alcohol-related crashes and fatalities by 18 to 24 percent. MADD always supports law enforcement during these high-visibility enforcement events and urges everyone to show their support for this proven countermeasure in their state.
Drunk driving is not only dangerous, it is expensive. When caught, drunk driving can cost an offender thousands of dollars. According to NHTSA, a DUI arrest could cost up to $10,000, not to mention the loss of vehicle and driving privileges. The driver also could face jail time, higher insurance rates and expenses from attorney fees, fines, car towing, repairs and lost time at work. Most importantly, they can kill others including family members.
Drunk driving remains the leading killer on our roads, yet these senseless deaths are 100 percent preventable, 100 percent of the time. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving is helping create a future with No More Victims®. The campaign includes advocacy for stronger drunk driving laws including all-offender ignition interlocks, support for high-visibility law enforcement, support for advanced vehicle technologies and public support for these initiatives.
MADD reminds everyone to take personal responsibility by using taxis, public transportation, rideshare services or calling a non-drinking friend if their plans include alcohol this Independence Day and every day.