Families all around our part of the country —in Indiana and Illinois — are planning for the next big holiday weekend which is about two weeks away: the Fourth of July weekend holiday. Officially, the Fourth of July weekend begins on Thursday, July 2, 2015 at six o’clock in the evening and end at midnight on Monday, July 6, 2015.
All that time gives families here a great opportunity for a short excursion to nearby places like the local lake sandy beaches, or to do a “staycation” and still around their town, enjoying shopping and relaxing and maybe a dinner out at a nice restaurant in Chicago or Valparaiso.
Whether your plans are for staying home or taking a road trip, the upcoming holiday means lots of people will be on driving the local roads over the Independence Day Weekend, enjoying their time off.
Which means that once again, the national campaign against Drunk Driving will be geared up by state and local authorities to try and prevent people from being hurt or killed in traffic accidents where one of the drivers is driving under the influence.
This holiday weekend is a huge danger for everyone because of drunk driving traffic accidents. According to government studies, in fatal traffic car crashes over the Fourth of July holiday in 2013, for example, 20% of the people driving on the roads in cars, SUVs, trucks, minivans, and motorcycles, were driving drunk with blood levels almost 200% over the legal limit.
The July 2015 “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign
The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is designed to stop drunk drivers before they can get into an accident. Law enforcement in our area will be out on the roads more than usual, with police officers enforcing DUI laws with zero tolerance.
There will be checkpoints set up by local police departments, as well as “saturation patrols” on roadways where the police know or have reason to believe that a lot of the drivers there may be driving while intoxicated.
The No Refusal Weekend
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Association (NHTSA) also promotes this weekend as part of a national “no refusal” time period.
During these No Refusal Weekends, laws in various jurisdictions not only focus their efforts on traffic safety but they also take other steps to stop drunk driving. For instance, in many parts of the country protecting the driver’s constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure are weighed against public safety with things like allowing search warrants to be granted by judges to police officers over the phone when a driver refuses to give law enforcement a breath test. The over the phone search warrant allows a blood sample to be drawn as soon as possible from the suspected drunk driver and an arrest made on Blood Alcohol Content based upon the test results.
Here’s a public safety video from NHTSA that reminds us all that even a “buzz” means that you’re driving drunk here in Indiana and Illinois.