Sunrise Beach Police Department to step up enforcement during holiday

Submitted by the Sunrise Beach Police Department

This Independence Day, law enforcement in Sunrise Beach are participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over impaired driving awareness campaign. In support of law enforcement community’s dedication to protecting the lives of residents in their communities, you’ll see officers working together during the holiday weekend to take drink drivers off the roads. These expanded efforts to protect against impaired driving will be conducted in a fair and equitable way.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,142 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2019 that involved an alcohol-impaired driver. With Fourth of July festivities wrapping up late in the evening, more cars will be on the roads at night. In 2019, 515 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the July 4th holiday period (6 p.m. July 3 to 5:59 a.m. July 8). Thirty-eight percent of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.

“We want everyone to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday and we expect everyone to make plans to be safe,” Sunrise Beach Police Chief Jeff Campbell said. “We repeat this message constantly, but it is still a critical issue: Drunk driving is deadly and illegal. Driving under the influence of any substance will land you a DWI.”

From 2015 to 2019, there were 1,339 drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes over the 4th of July holiday period. Thirty eight percent of the drivers were alcohol-impaired (BAC of .08+). During the 2019 July 4 holiday period, of the 198 people who died in alcohol-impaired motor vehicle traffic crashes, most 4 out of 5 (79%) of them occurred in nighttime crashes (6 p.m.-5:59 a.m.).

“We see a lot of people that think drinking and driving is no big deal,” Campbell said. “Our department is highly trained and experienced in locating and stopping intoxicated drivers, this is an issue we take very serious. A DWI will follow you through your life, so this is a gamble that’s just not worth taking. 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.”

Celebrate with a Plan

This Fourth of July, the Sunrise Beach Police Department and NHTSA are working together to urge drivers to designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.

• If available, use your community’s sober ride program such as Uber, Lyft or numerous other taxi companies. There are usually citizens that even volunteer to be sober drivers for people.

• If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact 911.

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

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.