RALEIGH – For as many good memories as the Fourth of July holiday can provide, it can also create devastating nightmares for families who lose a loved one due to drunk driving. As North Carolinians are traveling to picnics and barbecues, state and local law enforcement will be out in full force stopping drunk drivers by aggressively targeting those who put lives in danger. These enhanced efforts will begin on June 30 and run through July 9 during the Governor’s Highway Safety Program’s (GHSP) annual Booze It & Lose It: Operation Firecracker.
“If you choose to head out to a Fourth of July party and make the terrible decision to drink and drive, don’t be mistaken—if you get caught, you will be arrested,” said Robert Broome, interim director of the GHSP. “This is deadly, irresponsible behavior, and law enforcement will be out in full force to put a stop to it wherever they can.”
During last year’s Fourth of July holiday, 13 people were killed in an impaired-driving crash. Over the past four years, 33 percent of all traffic fatalities over the Fourth of July period occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.
In conjunction with the enforcement campaign, the GHSP will be utilizing the “Don’t Drink and Drive. You’re Smarter Than That” marketing campaign to remind North Carolina citizens about the multiple ways to get home safely.
The campaign encourages motorists to visit www.BeSmarterThanThat.com to plan a way to get home safely in advance by designating a sober driver, downloading a ride app, checking on public transportation availability or programming a taxi number into their mobile phone. All of these methods are easy and effective ways to ensure a safe return home after a night of fun.
It is important to make safe decisions before you drink, but it is also important to look out for others. If you know someone who is about to drive impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to their destination. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement immediately. You could be the difference between life and death.
Join us in keeping this Fourth of July an occasion to allow families and friends to gather across the state to celebrate our nation’s independence with parades, parties and fireworks. As you prepare to drive home from the festivities, keep in mind that even one drink can be one too many. This Fourth of July and every day, remember: Booze It & Lose It. Don’t Drink and Drive. You’re Smarter Than That.