CALIFORNIA — The Fourth of July is a time for family, friends and celebration. But authorities also want to remind people that it's also one of the most dangerous times to be on the road.
According to the California Highway Patrol, seven people were killed and 73 people were injured in alcohol-related accidents during the Fourth of July last year. And every fatal crash involved someone who was drinking.
The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control reminds people that "If you are headed to 4th of July parties, designate a sober driver before heading out for the evening. If you are hosting a party, offer nonalcoholic drinks for designated sober drivers and monitor who is drinking. See people leaving who have been drinking? Check how they are getting home. Offer to let them stay the night if a sober driver is not available to take them home."
And it isn't just the danger of getting into an accident. The financial hit drivers can face if they are pulled over for a DUI is extensive. "The average cost of a DUI arrest is approximately $13,500, accounting for vehicle impound fees, fines, attorney fees, auto insurance hikes and other penalties," according to the Alcoholic Beverage Control.
So, remember, have fun this Independence Day. Enjoy family, friends, food and fireworks, but avoid a fatal mistake: don't drink and drive.