With the 4th of July landing on a weekend this year, we can expect plenty of celebrating — especially after the year most of us have had. Unfortunately, for many people in Indianapolis, marking the independence of the United States does not mean barbequing with friends and family or watching a fireworks show. It means drinking and driving.
And when there is a spike in drunk driving, like on a holiday weekend, there is usually a jump in serious car accidents. Independence Day is no exception. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during the Fourth of July holiday periods of 2014-2018, 812 people died in drunk driving wrecks nationwide.
Buzzed drivers are also dangerous
Being over the legal limit for blood-alcohol content (BAC) certainly impairs your ability to drive safely. But buzzed driving is also dangerous. For example, a BAC of .02 percent affects a person’s ability to do two things at once. That is well below Indiana’s legal limit of .08 percent but could still lead to a crash that injures people.
Drunk driving is a choice
Responsible people know better than to drink and drive. During the Fourth of July weekend, they will choose not to drink or pick a designated driver if they do. Or they will take public transportation, hail a taxi, or use a rideshare app like Lyft or Uber to get home. Whatever it takes to avoid putting themselves and others in reasonably preventable danger.
Unfortunately, not every motorist takes their legal duty to drive safely seriously. If you are hit by a drunk driver this July 4, you could be seriously hurt. If you are lucky, you will recover from your injuries, but it may take months of pain and expensive medical treatment to get there. If you are less fortunate, you could be disabled for life.