Drive sober or get pulled over this holiday

Staff reports

MIAMI COUNTY — Every year Americans head out on our nation’s highways to celebrate the Fourth of July at picnics, parties, parades and more. Unfortunately, for many, the celebrating includes drinking alcohol, which too often leads to drunk driving on one of the most heavily traveled holidays of the year.

“This Fourth of July, don’t risk losing your life or your independence by drinking and driving. Help make everyone’s holiday safe by driving sober,” said Lieutenant Joseph Gebhart, Piqua post commander, Ohio State Highway Patrol. “The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign means zero tolerance for drunk driving — no excuses.”

There were 397 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2014 over the Fourth of July holiday (6 p.m. July 3 to 5:59 a.m. July 7). Of those fatalities, 164 people (41 percent) were killed in crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher.

In 2014, 9,967 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes nationwide — almost a third of all crash fatalities.

In every state and the District of Columbia, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. The consequences of drunk driving are that serious. Not only could you put your life and the lives of others at risk, but a DUI arrest means a loss of freedom and money, including going to jail, losing your license, and paying steep financial expenses. The average DUI cost? About $10,000.

This Fourth of July, the Miami County Safe Communities Coalition is reminding Miami County residents that law enforcement will be out in full force, cracking down on drunk drivers by aggressively targeting those who put lives in danger.

The Miami County Safe Communities Coalition recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:

• Plan a safe way home before the fun begins by designating a driver.

• If you see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to dial #677 or 911 to report to local law enforcement.

• If you know people who are about to drive or ride after drinking, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get where they are going safely.

• Always wear your seatbelt, it’s your best defense.

For more information about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit

Staff reports