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The 4th of July is celebrated by friends and families nationwide. This holiday is a time for Americans to fire up the barbecue, hoist the flag, and grab a seat for a fireworks display. But before you head out for the celebrations, make sure you plan a sober way home.

Fremont County law enforcement officers are taking part in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign during the 4th of July holiday to help put an end to drunk driving. In support of law enforcement’s dedication to protecting lives, you’ll see increased enforcement on the roads with zero tolerance for those who drive impaired.

During the 2017 4th of July holiday period (6 p.m. June 30 to 5:59 a.m. July 5), 237 people were killed in nationwide crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. These deaths accounted for 39 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic crashes over the holiday period. The deaths also represent a 23 percent increase from 2016, during which 192 people were killed during the same holiday period.

“We want to be very clear about the consequences of drunk driving,” said Sgt. John Cunningham of the Lander Police Department. “Drunk driving is illegal. It’s deadly and a risk we don’t want to see people take. Make no mistake, if you are caught drinking and driving, you will be pulled over and arrested. Driving under the influence of any substance will land you jail.”

According to NHTSA, drunk driving accounted for 29 percent of motor vehicle crash-induced deaths in 2017.

“Sadly, many people think driving impaired is a joke or a challenge,” said Cunningham. “The consequences are serious. If we catch you driving under the influence of alcohol, we will arrest you and you’ll receive a DUI. That DUI will follow you throughout your life. Under no circumstances is it ever acceptable to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after you’ve been drinking. Doing so endangers you and everyone on the road with you. Remember to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over if you’re heading to 4th of July parties this week.”

“This should not come as a surprise to drivers in this country: In most states, it is illegal to drive with a BAC over .08,” said Cunningham. “But since people aren’t getting it, and since thousands of people are still dying as a result of this behavior year after year, we will be patrolling over the holiday season and we will accept absolutely zero excuses.”

Celebrate with a Plan

This 4th of July, Fremont County law enforcement officers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urge drivers to designate a sober driver before heading out for the evening. If you plan on drinking, plan on not driving.

Remember these tips for a safe night on the roads:

  • Remember it is never OK 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.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact 1-800-442-9090.
  • Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.