Celebrate Fourth of July with a plan

The last few months have brought incredible challenges to our communities. As our nation begins to reopen, many Americans will be eager to celebrate the Fourth of July with family and friends. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB) want to remind drivers not to let the celebration turn dangerous by driving impaired.

Nationally, during the 2018 Fourth of July holiday period (the most recent statistics available), 193 people died in motor vehicle crashes, and 78 of these fatalities occurred in an alcohol-impared crash. On the Fourth of July, in 2018, one person lost their life in Iowa due to an alcohol-related crash. On July 4, 2019, Iowa experienced 112 crashes, which involved two fatalities and nine serious injuries. These fatalities and injuries are certainly nothing to celebrate.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 71 percent of those who die in alcohol related crashes were in vehicles involving a driver with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .15 or higher, almost two times the legal limit of .08. Law enforcement agencies across Iowa, including the Shenandoah Police Department, will be participating in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign July 3 - 7. In an effort to combat impaired driving, officers will be exhibiting zero tolerance for impaired drivers.

Impaired driving is not only dangerous but illegal, and it puts everyone on the road in jeopardy. There is also a financial aspect of driving impared. An OWI arrest can cost up to $10,000. You could lose your license, your car, and your job. Before you set out to celebrate this holiday weekend, make a plan – have a designated driver, call an Uber, or another rideshare service.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau reminds you that it is never okay to drink and drive!

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