Each Independence Day, the rate of drunk driving accidents spikes, and police officers and emergency rooms get ready for an influx of brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other serious injuries caused by drunk driving. You don’t want to remember this 4th of July with a stay at the hospital, so use these tips to stay safe this weekend:
1) Don’t assume you can drive. Many people cause car accidents because they do not realize that they are over the legal blood alcohol limit. You may not feel intoxicated but still be over the limit legally. Get a small breathalyser kit to carry with your keys so that you can determine your blood alcohol level. If you do not have such a kit, take a taxi or an alternative means of transportation, even if you only have a small amount of alcohol to drink.
2) Plan ahead. Some people drink and drive because they do not plan an alternative means of transport. If you will be out celebrating Independence Day, bring extra money for a cab, designate a sober driver or arrange to stay over if you will be drinking.
3) Be a good host. If you are hosting a 4th of July event, remember that you are also responsible for preventing drunk driving. Stop serving alcoholic drinks well before the end of your event, make alternative forms of transportation (or guest bedrooms) available to your guests, and do not allow your guests to drive drunk.
4) Report possible drunk drivers. If you are driving and notice someone who appears to be drunk or erratic behind the wheel, call authorities. Reporting possible drunk driving or dangerous driving can help prevent accidents.
5) Consider family-friendly events. Most cities and towns offer family-friendly events for Independence Day. These events service no alcohol and often offer transportation services to and from the event.