Each year on July 4, Americans celebrate the birth and freedoms of this country.

Each year on July 4, Americans celebrate the birth and freedoms of this country.
Before you head out for your celebrations, make sure you plan for a sober way home. Law enforcement in Arkadelphia is taking part in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, June 29-July 8, 2018, to put an end to drunk driving. In support of law enforcement’s dedication to protecting the lives of residents in their communities, you’ll see increased enforcement on the roads with zero tolerance for those who drive impaired.
During the 2016 Fourth of July holiday (6 p.m. July 2 to 5:59 a.m. July 6), 188 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. This is a 28-percent increase from 2015, during which 146 people were killed during the same holiday period. That’s 188 families who will forever remember Independence Day with a heavy heart and nightmarish memories.
“It’s essential that our community members understand the safety and financial risks they take when they drink and drive,” said Cpl. Joseph Paull. “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. If you’re heading to Fourth of July parties this summer, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
According to NHTSA, 37,461 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2016, and 28 percent (10,597) of those fatalities occurred in a crash during which the driver had a BAC over the legal limit of .08. With Fourth of July festivities wrapping up in the evening or late at night, more cars will be on the roads. Nighttime is especially dangerous: the rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes during the 2016 July Fourth holiday period was more than three times higher at night than it was during the day.
“This should not come as a surprise to drivers in this country: In all 50 States, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, it is illegal to drive with a BAC over .08,” said Cpl. Joseph Paull. “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.”
Prepare for the Fourth
This Fourth of July, the Arkadelphia Police Department and NHTSA 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 that it is never okay 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 sharing service to get home safely.
-If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact the Arkadelphia Police Department.
-Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

The Costs of Drunk Driving
Drinking and driving is dangerous, even if you’re “just buzzed.” When you drive impaired, you risk your life and safety, and the lives and safety of those riding with you and around you. Does mortality not get your attention? Maybe money will: A DUI arrest could cost you up to $10,000, not to mention the loss of your vehicle and driver’s license. You could face jail time, higher insurance rates, and hefty expenses from attorney fees, fines, car towing, repairs, and lost time at work. Imagine trying to explain that to your family, friends, or employer.
This Fourth of July, commit to only driving 100-percent sober. Don’t lose your independence on Independence Day, and don’t be a deadly risk to yourself and other innocent people. Remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. For more information on impaired driving, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.