Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

2019 July 4th Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving


Each summer, friends and family gather together on the Fourth of July to mark the birthday of our great nation. Unfortunately, the holiday can take a grim turn when merrymakers drive home from the festivities with a few drinks under their belt. In 2017, an average of one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 48 minutes. Help us keep Independence Day a safe day for everyone traveling the roads. During the Fourth of July holiday weekend, plan for safe holiday festivities, and share this vital message: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

Please remember these drunk-driving statistics as you prepare to party this summer:

  • In 2017, there were 10,874 people killed in drunk-driving crashes—almost a third of all traffic fatalities nationwide. To put it in perspective, that’s equal to about 20 jumbo jets crashing, with no survivors.
  • In 2017, 601 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the July 4th holiday period (6 p.m. June 30 to 5:59 a.m. July 5). Thirty-nine percent (237) of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. This is a 23-percent increase from 2016, during which 192 people were killed during the same holiday period.
  • During the 2017 July 4th holiday period, 60 percent of those who died in alcohol-impaired crashes were in a crash involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher.  
  • Nighttime hours are especially dangerous: Over the 2017 July 4th holiday period, of the 237 people who died in alcohol-impaired motor vehicle traffic crashes, 79 percent (187) of the alcohol-impaired fatalities occurred during nighttime hours (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.).
  • From 2013 to 2017, there were 939 people killed in drunk-driving crashes over the Fourth of July holiday periods.
  • [Local July 4th statistic if available.]

Financial Impacts

  • On average, a DUI can set you back $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates, car towing and repairs, and more.
  • The financial impact from impaired-driving crashes is devastating. Based on 2010 numbers (the most recent year for which cost data is available), impaired-driving crashes cost the United States $44 billion annually.
  • If you’re caught drinking and driving, you could face jail time. Imagine trying to explain that to your friends and family or your place of employment if you’re unable to report to work.
  • Drinking and driving could cause you to lose your driver’s license and your vehicle. This could inhibit you from getting to work, resulting in lost wages and, potentially, job loss.

Celebrate with a Plan

Always remember to plan ahead if you will be celebrating. If you plan to drink, plan for a sober driver to take you home. Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take that role seriously and do not consume alcohol, not even one drink.

  • Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
  • Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android devices: (, and Apple’s iTunes Store for iOS devices: ( SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
  • Use your community’s sober ride program [Insert your local sober ride program specifics here].
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact [Local Law Enforcement].
  • Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

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