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MESSAGE FROM SHERIFF
RODNEY WRIGHT  ( read  )
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Emergency: 911
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Benton, Arkansas 72015
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06/25/2019

MAKE SURE THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE ISN'T AFTER YOU: DRIVER SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER

Benton, AR - The Fourth of July is celebrated by friends and families nationwide. It’s a time for Americans to fire up the barbecue, hoist the flag, and grab a seat for that spectacular fireworks display. But before you head out for the celebrations, make sure you plan for a sober way home. Law enforcement in Saline County is taking part in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign during the Fourth of July holiday period, June 29-July 5, 2019, 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 2017 Fourth of July holiday period (6 p.m. June 30 to 5:59 a.m. July 5), 237 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. These deaths accounted for 39 percent of the total motor vehicle traffic crashes that occurred over the holiday period. The deaths also represent a 23-percent increase from 2016, during which 192 people were killed during the same holiday period. That’s 237 families who will forever remember Independence Day with a heavy heart and nightmarish memories.

“Impaired driving impacts every single person in Saline County,” said Saline County Sheriff Rodney Wright. “It is not only illegal, but it is a threat to public safety. If you choose to drink this holiday, please make the responsible choice and have a designated driver. If you don’t, there will be zero tolerance.”

 According to NHTSA, drunk driving accounted for 29 percent (10,874) of motor vehicle traffic crash-induced deaths in 2017. With Fourth of July festivities wrapping up in the evening or late at night, more cars will be on the roads. The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes is higher at night. During the 2017 July 4th holiday period, of the 237 people who died in alcohol-impaired motor vehicle traffic crashes, 79 percent (187) of the alcohol-impaired fatalities occurred during nighttime hours (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.).

Celebrate with a Plan

This Fourth of July, the Saline County Sheriff’s Office 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 service to get home safely.
  • Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android devices: (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nhtsa.SaferRide&hl=en), and Apple’s iTunes Store for iOS devices: (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saferride/id950774008?mt=8). SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact 911 or call your local law enforcement agency.
  • 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’s fees, fines, car towing and 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.

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