San Diego County’s Avoid the 14 DUI Task Force’s officers are conducting an aggressive DUI enforcement blitz during the July 4 weekend that includes sobriety/drivers license checkpoints and DUI saturation patrols.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the past 25 years show that, on average, nearly half of all deadly traffic crashes over each year’s July 4 holiday involved some level of alcohol.
“We want people to be careful all weekend, but particularly at night,” said Sheriff William Gore. “The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2009 was four times higher at night than during the day.”
In California, seven were killed in DUI wrecks during the Fourth of July weekend in 2009 and another 352 were injured in alcohol involved collisions.
“The Fourth of July is a time most Americans spend celebrating with family and friends, but it is also one of the year’s deadliest times on our roadways,” said Gore. “So we will be out in force cracking down on drunk driving. If you are caught driving impaired, you will be arrested.”
Violators face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates and dozens of other unanticipated expenses.
Impaired driving is one of America’s deadliest problems. In 2009, 10,839 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes, accounting for nearly 32 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in the United States. That’s an average of one impaired-driving fatality every 48 minutes in 2009. In California, 950 men, women and children died because someone drove impaired over the legal limit.
“The summer holidays are some of the deadliest times periods on our roadways so everyone must remember to be responsible and plan ahead; use a Designated Sober Driver,” said Chris Murphy, cirector of the California Office of Traffic Safety. “Just know everyone traveling down the road near you has a cellphone and will call 9-1-1 to report a suspected drunk driver.”
Funding for the Avoid Campaign is by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For more information on regional/statewide Avoid DUI Task Force campaigns, Enforcement Schedules and Daily DUI Arrest/Fatality statistics, visit the www.californiaavoid.org and www.StopImpairedDriving.org. The Avoid Campaign will deploy sobriety checkpoints and DUI patrols again during the August/Labor DUI Mobilization beginning Aug. 19.