PREPARED BY: Lt. Mike Kearney
The 4th of July holiday is a time to enjoy fireworks and show country pride but is also traditionally one of the more dangerous times on the road.To keep families safe this Independence Day, the Escondido Police Department will have increased enforcement focused on impaired driving during the 4th of July holiday.
According to preliminary data from the California Highway Patrol, seven people were killed and 73 injured in alcohol-related crashes statewide on fourth of July last year. Every deadly crash involved a driver who had been drinking.
“Drinking and driving is a bad combination,” said Escondido Police Captain Justin Murphy. “The consequences are abundantly clear, yet people still make the poor decision to drive after drinking. Please be smart and make this 4th of July holiday a fun and memorable one.”
If you are headed to 4th of July parties, designate a sober driver before heading out for the evening. If you are hosting a party, offer nonalcoholic drinks for designated sober drivers and monitor who is drinking. See people leaving who have been drinking? Check how they are getting home. Offer to let them stay the night if a sober driver is not available to take them home.
“Driving with just a buzz doesn’t cut it,” Captain Murphy said. “With the rise in ride-share options, there really is no excuse for driving impaired.”
The average cost of a DUI arrest is approximately $13,500, accounting for vehicle impound fees, fines, attorney fees, auto insurance hikes and other penalties. The Escondido Police Department also reminds residents that prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and marijuana can all be impairing and land you a DUI, especially in combination with alcohol and/or other drugs.
Funding for DUI enforcement was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.