Local authorities to be involved in next sTEP wave, "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over," July 1-5

The Fourth of July is best known for celebrations with family and friends, enjoying the summer weather with food and drinks. Those celebrations often include drinking alcohol, which can lead to impaired driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 164 people were killed  in motor vehicle crashes involving at least one driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher over the three-day Fourth of July holiday in 2014. In reality, 40 percent of the total fatalities were more than likely preventable.

The rate of alcohol impairment for drivers involved in fatal crashes was over three times higher at night than during the day. To date, there have been 154 fatalities on Iowa roadways this year, up 31, or 25% more than this time last year.

State and local law enforcement agencies - including the Waukon Police Department and Allamakee County Sheriff's Office - will step up their efforts Friday evening, July 1 through the morning of Tuesday, July 5 to eliminate drunk drivers on the roads and reduce speeding in order to protect all of the motoring public.

The following tips can help motorists reach their destination safely, not only this Fourth of July, but every day:

• Do not drive; those who have been drinking should plan ahead and arrange a safe way to get home.
• Buckle up; it is the single most effective way to prevent serious injury if involved in a crash.
• Don’t speed; speeding has been a factor in about 30 percent of crash deaths since 2005 (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety).

According to the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT), there were no fatalities over the three-day Fourth of July holiday weekend in 2015. Together, it is hoped that accomplishment can be repeated this Fourth of July weekend. The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB) hopes everyone has a safe and happy Fourth of July.
 

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