Most Americans spend time with family and friends on Independence Day. The consumption of alcohol is often a significant part of festivities for some, whether it is beer at picnics or mixed drinks at barbecues. Moderate alcohol consumption has a place in many people’s lives, but getting behind the wheel after drinking is never a good idea.
As part of their efforts to prevent drunk driving accidents, law enforcement agencies throughout Colorado, including the State Patrol, often conduct safety campaigns during important celebrations. The ongoing “The Heat Is On” campaign has been credited with reducing the overall numbers of drunk drivers on the state’s roads and highways.
This year, almost 300 drivers were arrested over the long Independence Day holiday weekend. From July 4 through July 6, 296 drivers were arrested by Colorado State Patrol troopers and other law enforcement officers around the state. Denver had the most arrests with 48; Aurora and Colorado Springs followed with 35 and 22, respectively. Data so far shows the long weekend saw three drunk driving fatalities.
According to the National Traffic Safety Administration, Independence Day celebrations have an alarming history of drunk driving accidents across the country. From 2008 to 2012, 40 percent of all fatal auto accidents on July 4 involved drunk drivers.
Preventing drunk driving accidents is as simple as not allowing an intoxicated person to get behind the wheel. Call a cab or use a designated driver. People who drive after drinking alcohol and then end up causing accidents that injure others on the road can be held liable by the victims or their families, as well as face criminal charges. Victims can seek compensation to cover damages and related costs, such as medical expenses and lost wages. Family members can file legal action on behalf of someone who is killed in a drunk driving accident.