The July 4th holiday is filled with fun; many people shoot fireworks, go to the lake, camp for the entire weekend, or choose to watch a public fireworks display. However, July 4th is one of the most dangerous holidays as well considering many people consume alcohol as part of the celebration of our nation’s freedom. Whether you intend to get out on the lake, enjoy a picnic, or participate in other fun activities we have a few tips for staying safe this Independence Day.
Always remember: Drinking alcohol and getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, boat, or ATV do not mix!
Appoint a designated driver if you will be on the roads and have consumed alcohol. Michigan law enforcement officers will be out in full force for the entire week. Police will be focused on drunk drivers and whether motorists are wearing safety belts, so don’t risk it.
Put someone else in charge of driving the boat if you have had a few drinks. Drinking slows your reaction time and impairs judgment. Add the sun, waves, and a boat’s motion, and these effects can make an individual even more impaired. If you are caught driving a boat after or while consuming alcohol, penalties are severe – and you may face both state and federal charges.
Don’t swim alone. Swimming after you’ve had a few drinks can put your life at risk.
Let someone else take care of the fireworks show. If fireworks are legal in your neighborhood or wherever you intend to shoot them off, let someone who is sober take care of setting them off. Fireworks can be explosive; consuming alcohol and lighting fireworks can be a dangerous (and deadly) combination.
Over a five-year time period from 2007 to 2011, 780 people have died in accidents involving alcohol over the July 4th holiday according to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Many more have been injured in accidents involving drunk driving.
Stay safe this July 4th holiday. If you intend to have a few drinks while enjoying the festivities, let someone else do the driving. Risking your life and others’ lives isn’t worth it – and you could find yourself facing serious criminal penalties including jail time, steep fines, and loss of your driver’s license should you get caught behind the wheel after drinking alcoholic beverages.
Have fun, enjoy the long weekend, and most of all play it safe when it comes to alcohol.
If you do find yourself on the wrong side of the law and get arrested for DUI or drunk driving, contact an experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyer immediately, before answering any questions posed by police.