Who doesn’t love the Fourth of July? It’s a time for gathering with friends and family, and having some fun in the beautiful Orange County sun. As you make plans to celebrate America’s birthday this coming Monday, take a moment to consider how you’re going to enjoy a DUI-free holiday.
Law enforcement is on high alert for drunk drivers over the Fourth of July holiday weekend and will be sending out extra patrols to nab drunk and drugged drivers over this three-day weekend.
Across the country, there is an increase in DUI-related arrests and crashes, so in response to the uptick in drunk driving, there will be DUI saturation patrols throughout LA, Orange, and San Diego counties. California Highway Patrol will also have officers patrolling the freeways, so they will see you before you see them.
It’s not illegal to pop open a few cold ones and celebrate the Fourth with friends, family, or neighbors, but it is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol to the extent where your faculties are impaired, or your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above .08%.
To avoid a DUI this holiday weekend, follow these tips:
- If possible, party close to home so you don’t have to drive anywhere.
- If you are driving to a fireworks show, the beach, or a friend’s house, arrange for a sober driver to take you home.
- If you don’t have a sober driver available, call Uber, Lyft, or a taxi!
- Don’t drive under the influence of marijuana or prescription medications that warn you against operating heavy machinery.
- Don’t mix alcohol with drugs, including prescription drugs.
- Don’t let your friends, neighbors, or fellow party guests drive drunk.
- If you drink and can’t get a ride, ask to crash on your friend’s couch.
Remember, even if you have a “high tolerance” to alcohol – that has nothing to do with your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). You may know how to handle your alcohol, but your BAC will say otherwise. Enjoy the Fourth of July festivities, the fireworks and drinks with friends, but please drink responsibly.
A DUI can not only lead to fines, penalties, vehicle towing and storage, 15-week alcohol education classes, paying towards the victim restitution fund, a booking fee, attorney fees, and up to $8,000 in additional costs for auto insurance for the next 10 years, someone could get hurt.
According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, around 1,500 Californians are killed each year due to drunk driving and another 30,000 are injured. When you choose to drink this holiday weekend, please don’t drink and drive.