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Drive sober this Independence Day and every day

Staff Writer
Brownwood Bulletin
Courtney Parrott

This Independence Day, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Watch UR BAC and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) want to remind drivers that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. Unfortunately, summertime festivities can create dangerous road conditions, as some drivers hit the streets after drinking alcoholic beverages.

Make sure to celebrate the birth of America safely. Drivers found under the influence of any substance, and still recklessly choose to get behind the wheel of a vehicle, put everyone on the road in danger, including themselves.

According to NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, drunk driving accounted for 29 percent (10,511) of motor vehicle traffic crash deaths in 2018. With Fourth of July celebration wrapping up in the evening or late at night, more vehicles will be on the road at night. In 2018 alone, 193 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the July Fourth holiday period (6 p.m., July 3, to 5:59 a.m., July 5). Forty percent (78) of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. This compares to 2017, when 38 percent of the July Fourth holiday period fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.

Courtney Parrott, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Community Health Educator, wants Brown County to have a happy and safe Independence Day — one that they’ll remember for years to come, for all the right reasons. We’ve partnered with NHTSA to help remind drivers that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. Under no circumstance is it ever OK to drink and drive. This behavior is illegal, it is deadly, and it is selfish. Do everyone in your community a favor: If you’ve been drinking at a Fourth of July party, or for any occasion, find a sober ride home.”

During the Fourth of July holiday, make sure to plan for a safe weekend of festivities.

If you are drunk or high, or even a little buzzed, we are begging you: Stay off the roads. Drunk driving is deadly. If you plan to be the sober driver, then don’t indulge — your friends are relying on you.

Prepare for July Fourth

This Fourth of July, Courtney Parrott, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Community Health Educator, Brown County and NHTSA urge drivers to designate a sober driver before heading out for the evening. For people that plan on drinking, plan how to safely get around without driving, too.

Remember these tips for a safe night on the roads:

• It is never OK to drink and drive. Even if you have had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.

• If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact Brown County Law Enforcement.

• Do you have friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

This Fourth of July commit to driving 100 percent sober — because Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

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For information on free alcohol awareness programs available through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Watch UR BAC program in College Station, visit: watchurbac.tamu.edu, or call: 979-862-1911.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Watch UR BAC program is funded by TxDOT and is provided at no charge to promote alcohol awareness, the dangers of impaired driving, and friends watching out for friends. Contact: Nancy Winn, nancy.winn@ag.tamu.edu, for booking information.

For more information on impaired driving, visit: https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/drunk-driving/buzzed-driving-drunk-driving/4th-july.