New Haven, CT- If you are one of the many Americans who will hit the roadways and waterways this Fourth of July then make sure certain you aren’t drinking and driving or boating, otherwise you might be spending Independence Day behind bars.
According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), more fatal traffic accidents occur on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year. On this day alone, an average of 148 Americans will lose their lives in tragic accident and the majority of those accidents are caused by drunken drivers. Boating, too, can be deadly on the Fourth of July.
The IIHS estimates that approximately 13.2 percent of the U.S. population will drink and drive over the Independence Day holiday.
To cut down on DUI traffic and boating accidents, law enforcement officers and Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental will be patrolling the roadways and waterways.
Drivers can expect to see increased patrols on the roads with DUI checkpoints in key areas over the long holiday weekend. The increased checkpoints will begin in July 3rd to July 7th.
“Independence Day has historically been the busiest holiday of the summer travel season and we expect that to be the case again this year,” Connecticut AAA spokesman Aaron Kupec said in a press release. “We expect to see the highest traffic volumes on Wednesday as people get away and next Sunday as they head home.”
Approximately 2.6 million people in New England will be on the roads, traveling to attend barbeques, watch fireworks and visit friends and family, and many of these motorists will be visiting the New Haven area.
In addition to busy roads and highways, the state’s waterways will also be crowded with boaters and people engaging in numerous fun activities from swimming to tubing to skiing.
According to the Patch, at least 67 percent of fatal boating accidents in Connecticut last year were alcohol-related. An additional 29 percent of alcohol-related accidents resulted in injuries.
It is illegal in Connecticut and all 49 other states to operate a boat with a blood alcohol concentration above .08, which is the legal threshold for drivers, as well.
DUIs and BUIs (boating under the influence) carry the same consequences. Offenders can typically expect to spend the night in jail, but that is just one of the many legal hassles that have to be dealt with. An operating under the influence charge often carries a jail sentence and at the very least, the offender will lose their driver’s or boater’s license and have their boat or car impounded. An offender can expect to spend thousands on fines, penalties and legal fees. Anyone facing this charge should hire a New Haven DUI attorney to help them avoid conviction.
Regardless of the your vehicle, whether it is a car or boat, if you drink before you get behind the wheel, you can put other people’s as well as your life in danger. It’s best to designate a driver who promises to stay sober or call a cab. You don’t want to become a statistic.