Don´t Let This Fourth of July Blow Up in Your Face!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 | 07:00pm

July 4th Second Deadliest Day of the YearNashville, Tenn. — The Fourth of July holiday is the second most deadly holiday period of the year – just behind New Year’s Eve. In 2004, at least 253 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes across America during the Fourth of July holiday period. Of those, 225 fatalities involved a driver, or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 and higher which is above the legal limit in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

That is why the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHSO) is joining other national, state and local law enforcement safety officials in working overtime this year to remind anyone planning to use alcohol while celebrating Independence Day that they will “Booze It and Lose It”. Always designate a sober driver before the celebrations begin.

“With nearly half of all traffic fatalities over the July 4th holiday being alcohol-related, we are asking everyone to help us get the word out that buzzed driving is indeed drunk driving and that the ‘just one more for the road’ attitude too often turns into a disaster without the support of a sober designated driver,” said Director Kendell Poole, Governor’s Highway Safety Office.

“Too many people still don’t understand that alcohol or drugs and driving just don’t mix. Impaired driving is no accident, nor is it a victimless crime. Too many lives are being lost and we need everyone’s help to stop it,” added TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely.

Drunk driving is one of America’s deadliest problems. Overall in 2004, more than 15,000 people died in highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .01 or higher. Of those, nearly 13,000 were killed in crashes where the BAC was .08 or higher.

Alcohol plays a major role in motorcycle fatalities, affecting those skills essential to operate a motorcycle — balance and coordination. In 2004, 41 percent of the 1,672 motorcycle operators who died in single-vehicle crashes had BAC levels of .08 or higher. For fatal crashes in the same year, a higher percentage of motorcycle operators had BAC levels of .08 or higher than any other type of driver.

Poole said much of the tragedy from drunk driving can be prevented with a few simple precautions:

  • Whenever you plan on using alcohol, designate a sober driver before going out and give that person the keys.
  • If you’re impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
  • Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement.
  • Wearing your safety belt or using protective gear on your motorcycle is your best defense against an impaired driver.
  • While traveling to and from celebrations on your motorcycle, remember to make yourself visible and ride your motorcycle where you can be seen to avoid a crash.
  • And remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

Don’t let this Fourth of July blow up in your face. Remember Booze It and Lose It! Designate your sober driver before the celebrations begin.

For more information, please visit

Press Releases | Transportation