Drive Sober this independence day, and every day: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

Wheatland — This Independence Day, the Wheatland Police Department wants to remind drivers that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. Unfortunately, the summertime celebration can create dangerous road conditions, as some drivers hit the streets after drinking alcohol. Make sure you celebrate July Fourth safely. If you are under the influence of any substance and you choose to get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you put everyone on the road in danger, including yourself. During this Fourth of July holiday, make sure you plan for a safe weekend.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving accounted for 29% (10,511) of motor vehicle traffic crash deaths in 2018. With Fourth of July festivities wrapping up in the evening or late at night, more vehicles will be on the road at night. In 2018 alone, 193 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the July 4th holiday period (6 p.m. July 3 to 5:59 a.m. July 5). Forty percent (78) of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. This compares to 2017 when 38% of the July 4 holiday period fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.

“We want our community to have a happy and safe Independence Day, one that they’ll remember for years to come, for all the right reasons,” said Chief Doug Willadsen. “We are reminding drivers that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. Under no circumstance is it ever okay to drink and drive. This behavior is illegal, it’s deadly, and it’s selfish. Do everyone in your community a favor: If you’ve been drinking at a Fourth of July party, or for any occasion, find a sober ride home.”

Remember these tips for a safe night on the roads:

    •    Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you have 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 the Wheatland Police Department. Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and plan to get your friend home safely.