Stay Safe and avoid drunk driving on Fourth of July

With the upcoming holiday, the risk for accidents increases as more drivers hit the road. In 2010, 10,228 people were killed due to impaired driving, which accounts for 31% of all crashes. The National highway Traffic Safety Administration has released that during the 2010 July 4th period (6:00 p.m. July 2- 5:59 a.m. July 6) 80% of alcohol impaired driving took place at night. The NHTSA has reported that the Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays due to the increase in impaired driving.

In 2010, there were six deaths over the Fourth of July weekend. During 2011, the number of deaths nearly doubled. Eleven people died over the 2011 Fourth of July weekend. The deaths occurred in the City of Portsmouth, and the counties of Accomack, Albemarle, Alleghany, Campbell, Chesterfield, Fairfax, Henrico and Prince Edward.

Of these crashes four were alcohol related, and at least five of the victims were not wearing seatbelts. These numbers are high and Virginia is hoping to crack down on the number of fatalities this Fourth of July through the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over initiative.

New DUI Law

Recently a new law was passed in Virginia stating that all first time DUI offenders must place a device in their car that can detect if someone has been drinking. If the device, called an ignition interlock, senses that someone has been drinking it prevents them from driving the car. Legislators claim the law was passed to help crack down on drunk driving and the fatalities that come with it.

First time and repeat offenders will have to pay to have the interlock device installed, costing $480 for six months, around $200 in court costs, and a $300 Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program fee. Many believe the interlocks are the only way to combat drunk driving in the state.

Tips For Staying Safe

If you are planning on driving this Fourth of July holiday here are some tips that can help you on the road:

  • Designate a sober driver for the evening if you know you or your friends will be drinking
  • Plan your way home before the fun starts
  • If you see a possible drunk driver on the road contact local law enforcement
  • If you have been drinking call a cab or a local sober ride program to come pick you up.
  • If you notice someone who is impaired and attempting to drive home, take their keys away from him or her and help them find a safe ride.

Virginia Car Accident Lawyer

Remember to drive safely this holiday and to be on the lookout for drunk or impaired drivers on the road. Our Virginia Car Accident Lawyers are experienced at handling cases where a drunk driver has caused an accident that injured or killed another motorist. If you or a loved have been injured to due to negligent driving of a drunk driver we are available to review your case in a free no obligation consultation.