HPD cracking down on drunk driving for July 4th

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from the Hattiesburg Police Department 

"Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over": Hattiesburg Police is Cracking Down on Drunk Driving This July 4th

  • The July 4th holiday is a favorite time of year for many Americans. Backyard parties, good food, and fireworks. But the celebrating unfortunately turns deadly when people drive after drinking alcohol.  Drunk driving is a preventable problem on the Fourth of July each year in the United States.
  • In 2012, there were 179 people killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the Fourth of July holiday (6 p.m. July 3 through 5:59 a.m. July 5). Of those fatalities, 78 (44%) occurred in crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 or higher.
  • This Fourth of July, law enforcement in Hattiesburg is taking part in a crackdown to put an end to drunk driving. The "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign will mean increased enforcement with zero tolerance for those who drive impaired.
  • Throughout the region, drivers should expect to see the police out in force, cracking down on drunk driving through increased sobriety checkpoints, roving and saturation patrols, and other enforcement efforts.
  • Unfortunately, these enforcement campaigns are necessary—drunk driving is an epidemic in our nation. In 2012, there were 10,322 people killed in drunk-driving crashes. That's one third of all traffic fatalities nationwide.
  • During the Fourth of July 2012 holiday period, almost half (46%) of the young drivers killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes were alcohol-impaired (BAC of .08 or higher).
  • In all 50 States and the District of Columbia, it's illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher. In fatal crashes in 2012, almost one in seven drivers (15%) had a BAC at or above .15 – almost twice the legal limit.
  • The tragic reality is that drunk driving isn't a new concern: during the Fourth of July holiday periods from 2008 to 2012, there were 765 people killed in impaired-driving crashes.
  • And from 2011 to 2012, the number of overall drunk-driving-crash fatalities increased by 4.6 percent in the United States, from 9,865 people killed in 2011 to 10,322 in 2012. This startling trend must be reversed.
  • Of the 10,322 people who died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in 2012, 6,688 (65%) were drivers with BACs of .08 or higher. The remaining fatalities consisted of 2,824 (27%) motor vehicle occupants and 810 (8%) nonoccupants.

Make a Plan to Get Home Safely This Fourth of July. "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over."

If you drive drunk, you not only put your life and the lives of others at risk, you could face a DUI arrest. The average DUI costs $10,000, making it difficult to recover financially.

Arrested drunk drivers face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, fines and court costs, car towing and repairs, lost time at work, etc.

Avoid Drunk Driving Altogether. 

  • Plan a safe way home before the fun begins;
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
  • If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely;
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, don't hesitate to contact Hattiesburg Police; and
  • Remember, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to safely get to where they are going.

Whether you've had way too many or just one too many, it's never worth the risk to drive impaired. There's always another way home. This Fourth of July, if law enforcement pulls you over for drunk driving, you will be arrested.

For more information about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.