Celebrate the 4th of July Responsibly

The 4th of July is a time for celebration, full of backyard cookouts, pool parties, and fireworks. The buzz of a drink is not needed to feel the thrill of summer holiday festivities but if you do indulge, plan for a sober ride home. The Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau is partnering with local law enforcement for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over high-visibility enforcement campaign July 1-5. The primary goal of the increased law enforcement presence is to prevent tragedies previously seen around the July 4th holiday.

Annually, about one-third of all traffic fatalities are alcohol/impaired related. In Iowa last year, 57% of the July 4th holiday weekend traffic fatalities were alcohol related*. There are plenty of options to help impaired drivers get home safely; designate a sober driver, schedule a taxi/ rideshare, or use your community’s sober ride program. A few dollars spent on a ride is a lot cheaper than an OWI, which can cost thousands of dollars.

“We want people to enjoy the holiday and to celebrate responsibly,” says GTSB Bureau Chief Brett Tjepkes. “Drunk driving endangers those behind the wheel, their passengers, and other people on the road. Our law enforcement partners know how to spot an impaired driver and will not hesitate to pull them over. If you’re going to drink, plan for a sober ride.”

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau works with city, county, state, and local organizations to develop and implement strategies to reduce deaths and injuries on Iowa’s roadways using federally funded grants.