You may already have big plans for the 4th of July. Perhaps you want to take a trip with your family out of South Carolina or maybe you just want to go to the beach to see fireworks in your favorite resort town. You may have taken a leave of absence from work so that you can spend some time with your whole family or put together the perfect Fourth of July barbecue.
While celebrating, it’s very important that you remember to drink responsibly, especially if you need to travel afterward. The week around the 4th of July will likely see a significant uptick in law enforcement efforts targeting impaired drivers.
The Fourth of July is a dangerous holiday for drunk driving
Most holidays see a noteworthy upward trend in drunk driving and fatal crashes. The 4th of July and specifically the weekend either immediately before or after the holiday are often among the most dangerous days of the year in terms of drunk driving collision risk.
According to a projection based on data from previous years, more than a quarter (28.5%) of drunk driving crashes in 2021 will occur during the summer. Independence Day could be the second most dangerous holiday this year for drunk driving, with estimates showing 200% of the usual risk of a drunk driving crash. Overall, the week around the Fourth of July is often the deadliest of the year in terms of drunk driving crashes.
Law enforcement agencies will be out in full force
Rather than giving officers the day off so that they can go watch fireworks, police departments tend to expect people to work around the 4th of July holiday. There will likely be more traffic patrols than usual. There could also be sobriety checkpoints set up near popular Hangouts and firework displays to catch people who have had too much to drink and prevent the holiday from becoming an anniversary of a tragedy for people.
Those swept up in drunk driving enforcement efforts around the 4th of July may need to defend themselves or risk jail time, the loss of their license, or even career consequences. Knowing that there will be more enforcement around the holiday can help you make better decisions about how you celebrate and how you travel.