This Independence Day, law enforcement in Franklin County is participating in the July Fourth Crackdown enforcement campaign. During the holiday weekend, law enforcement will work 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.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving accounted for 29% (10,511) of motor vehicle traffic deaths in 2018. With Fourth of July festivities wrapping up in the evening or late at night, more cars will be on the roads at night. In 2018 alone, 193 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the July 4 holiday period (6 p.m. July 3 to 5:59 a.m. July 5). Forty percent (78) of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. This compares to 2017 when 38% of the July 4 holiday period fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.

“It’s a shame we have to keep repeating ourselves, but the message remains the same: Drunk driving is deadly and illegal, and it’s illegal in every state in this country,” said Franklin County District Attorney Craig Carriero. “We want our community to stay safe, so make no mistake: If you are caught drinking and driving, you will be pulled over and arrested. Driving under the influence of any substance will land you a DWI.”

“Sadly, many people think driving impaired is no big deal,” said Franklin County STOP-DWI Coordinator Craig Collette. “The consequences are serious: If we catch you driving under the influence of alcohol, we will arrest you, and you’ll receive a DWI. That DWI will follow you throughout your life. Under no circumstances is it ever acceptable to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after you’ve been drinking. Doing so endangers you, your passengers, and everyone on the road with you. If you’re heading to Fourth of July parties this summer, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

This Fourth of July, Franklin County STOP-DWI, Franklin County Traffic Safety and NHTSA urge drivers to designate a sober driver before heading out for the day. If you plan on drinking, plan on not driving.

They also recommend these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:

n 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 sharing service to get home safely.

n If available, use your community’s sober ride program like MAC’s Safe Ride Continued in Tupper Lake.

n If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact law enforcement or 911.

n Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

This Fourth of July, commit to only driving 100% 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.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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