Originally posted June 17, 2019, updates to this article were made on June 20, 2023.
Independence Day weekend is one of the most dangerous driving holidays of the year. Only New Year’s Eve is more dangerous when it comes to the potential for alcohol-related crashes and fatalities.
From 2017 to 2021, NHTSA reported that one person is killed in a drunk driving crash every 39 minutes. This number can increase during holiday weekends, when drinking is common and the roads are crowded with people heading to or from Independence Day celebrations. It was also found that 38% of fatalities in drunk driving crashes over the Fourth had alcohol in their system.
It’s not just drivers, either. The Fourth is a summer holiday, and many people choose to spend it on the water. The U.S. Coast Guard reports alcohol as the leading cause in recreational boating deaths for several years in a row. In 2022, 16% of recreational boating fatalities were caused by alcohol.
Even a small amount of alcohol can be dangerous. Many are under the impression that as long as you’re under the legal limit of .08% in most states (and .05% in Utah), they are perfectly safe. A BAC of just .02% can impact your vision and make it difficult to manage two tasks at once - both things that are crucial to safe driving. A BAC of .02% is equivalent to just one or two alcoholic beverages, which most wouldn’t see as risky. However, NHTSA reports that there were 2,266 people killed in crashes where the driver had a BAC of .01 to .07%.
Prepare for a Safe Fourth of July with Tips from Intoxalock
It’s possible to have a safe and fun Fourth of July, with no alcohol-related incidents, if you plan ahead. We have a few tips for anyone struggling to plan an enjoyable holiday.
- Plan ahead: if you’re not hosting, make a plan to get home if you overindulge. Check public transportation options, or budget for a Lyft, Uber, or taxi. If those are not available in your area, ask friends if you can ride or spend the evening with them to avoid driving drunk.
- Offer non-alcoholic options: if you are hosting the holiday, make sure you have soft drinks, water, and other non-alcoholic and virgin cocktail options available for partygoers. Making it easy to avoid alcohol can help others stay away.
- Choose a designated driver: if you’re going to be spending the day with friends, choose one of you to be the designated driver. It’s best to make this choice well in advance so there are no surprises or disappointment. This is important whether you’re boating or driving.
- Stay alert: you’re making the effort to drive safely and sober, but others on the road may not. Make sure to focus on the road, even if you feel secure that you are in control.
- Use an ignition interlock device: Intoxalock ignition interlock devices are available on a voluntary basis to anyone who wishes to install one. The devices can prevent you from starting your car if you have alcohol in your system, keeping you and others safe.
Intoxalock IDs Prevent Hundreds of Thousands of Drunk Driving Incidents
Intoxalock devices prevent drivers from starting their vehicle if they have alcohol in their system. The devices can be installed by anyone, and you can sign a short-term lease if you only want to have the device during holidays or for young drivers in the home. If you are wondering about options in your area, you can contact our state specialists at 833-623-0200 for help. To get a quote, simply fill out the form on this page.