The July 4 holiday weekend will be a favorite time of year for many Western New Yorkers, but the celebrating can turn deadly when people drive after drinking alcohol.
“Impaired driving can turn celebrations into tragedy in an instant,” said Monica Farrar, director of The Resource Training Center Drinking Driver Program. Two years ago, she said, 179 people were killed in crashes over the Independence Day period. “Of those deaths, 44 percent were in crashes that involved alcohol,” she said.
“The tragic reality is that impaired driving isn’t a new concern,” added Farrar. “During the Fourth of July holiday periods from 2008 to 2012, there were 765 people killed in impaired-driving crashes. We’re asking for your support to remind everyone to plan ahead to ensure their Fourth of July includes not only fireworks at the park and hot dogs on the grill, but a sober ride home for themselves or their guests.”
If you drive impaired, you not only put your life and the lives of others at risk, you also face a DWI arrest. The average DWI costs $10,000, making it difficult to recover financially. Arrested impaired drivers also face jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, fines and court costs to car towing and repairs, lost time at work and more.
The Resource Training Center in Amherst recommends taking the following precautions:
Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
If you’re impaired, call a taxi, ask a sober friend or a family member for a ride, or use public transportation.
If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.
If you know someone about to drive or ride impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements.
For more information, visit wnyresourcetraining.org.