Don’t be a victim of drunk driving this 4th of July

by Tim O’Hare

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In the first half of 2013, Dallas County has charged nearly 2,800 people with misdemeanor DWI, 21 people with intoxication assault and four people with intoxication manslaughter. Fourth of July weekend is notorious for being one of the deadliest weekends for drunk driving on Texas roads, if not the deadliest. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the last 25 years, half of the accidents that occur on Fourth of July weekend involve alcohol. Forty-three percent of all traffic fatalities over Fourth of July weekend are alcohol-related, ranking even higher than the New Year’s holiday.

Local law enforcement agencies and have again designated this holiday weekend a “No Refusal” weekend. During a No Refusal weekend, any motorists or boaters suspected of drunk driving who refuse to have their blood or breath drawn will have a search warrant issued against them for police to take a blood specimen to test their blood-alcohol level.

Independence Day celebrations in DFW began last night with Kaboom Town!® at Addison Circle Park. Tonight, Dallas’ official Independence Day celebration, Fair Park Fourth, will take place at Fair Park, culminating with a fireworks display at 9:30pm.

Numerous other celebrations will take place through the weekend in North Texas. It’s important that drivers stay on high alert this holiday weekend. Texas law does not take drunk driving lightly. The same rules and restrictions apply to boaters.

Don’t let yourself or your family become victims of drunk driving this Fourth of July. Here are a few reminders to stay safe:

Choose a designated driver. The safest option is to avoid drinking alcohol altogether, but if you’re going to a party where you know there will be alcohol, plan ahead and select a designated driver or alternative form of transportation.

Avoid late night driving. Nobody likes to leave a party early, but if it means getting home safe, it’s definitely worth it.

Drive in the right lane. Sticking to the right lane can save your life from drunk drivers and wrong-way drivers alike. Often times drunk drivers drift out of their lane or into oncoming traffic. The further you are to the right of the road, the better your chances of avoiding being side swiped or hit head-on by a drunk driver.

Be smart this 4th of July. Your safety and the safety of those around you depend on it.

If you have been injured or a loves one has been tragically killed as a result of drunk driving, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for a free consultation with a Dallas personal injury attorney.

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