As celebrations associated with Independence Day–fireworks, backyard barbecues and pool parties–wind down, it’s vital we all work together to spread this life-saving message: DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.
This Independence Day holiday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department wants to remind you to plan for a safe week of festivities by not driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or drugs. Doing so ensures you will not put others, and yourself, in danger by driving impaired.
To help reduce the heavy hearts and nightmarish memories as a result of impaired drivers, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will deploy additional deputies on special DUI Saturation Patrols specifically to stop and arrest drivers showing signs of alcohol or drug impairment during the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m.
“We want our community to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday, but we want them to do so responsibly,” said Sergeant Hill, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “This is not a joke, and it’s not a time to test the laws. Alcohol or drug impaired driving is illegal, but it’s also deadly. We’re imploring you: Please ensure you have a sober driver lined up to get you home safely from your holiday festivities. Doing so could save a life.”
In recent years, California has seen a disturbing increase in drug-impaired driving crashes. During the 2017 four-day Fourth of July holiday in California, 17 people were killed and 430 injured in alcohol involved crashes. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department supports the new effort from the Office of Traffic Safety that aims to educate all drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.
Prepare for the Fourth:
If you will be drinking, plan how you will get around without driving.
Remember these tips for a safe night on the roads:
Designate a sober driver or use public transportation or a ride sharing service to get home safely.
Use your community’s sober ride program (http://www.myprivatedriver.com/designated-drivers.html ; http://www.scvsaferides.com/ ; http://www.bemydd.com/our_services)
Have a friend or family member who is about to drive buzzed or impaired? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get them home safely.
Report drunk drivers – call 911.
You can also do your part by volunteering to be a designated sober driver! Through our DDVIP program, select bars and restaurants are offering non-alcoholic specialty drinks for sober drivers, among other deals: http://bit.ly/OTSDDrinks.
The Costs of Drunk Driving
Drinking and driving is dangerous, even if you’re “just buzzed” or drug impaired. When you drive impaired, you risk the lives and safety of those riding with you and around you. You also risk a big hit on your wallet. A first time DUI arrest could cost you up to $10,000 – which includes attorney fees, fines, very high insurance rates, car towing, an alcohol/drug education treatment program and lost time at work, not to mention jail time, years on probation, the loss of your vehicle and driver’s license.
A final statistic to remember: drunk-driving deaths are 100-percent preventable.
This enforcement effort is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Whether by bike, car, motorcycle or walking, be a part of the solution and ‘Go Safely California.’
The next statewide DUI campaign is National Impaired Driving Mobilization, which runs August 17 through the Labor Day Weekend.