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Staying Safe (While Drinking) on July 4th
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Statistics You Might Find Shocking and Tips for Staying Safe this Holiday
It’s that time of year again!! The 4th of July weekend is only a little over a week away! Time to pull out the grills, hamburgers, hotdogs, and… oh yeah!! How can I forget! The Fireworks and Alcohol! Every year, thousands of people are injured or killed in firework-related accidents. Even more dangerous is the alcohol where over 10,000 receive DUI’s. It’s no mystery to why the Fourth of July is such a dangerous holiday.
In the 60 hour period ranging from 6:00 pm Friday, July 3, 2010 – 6:00 am on Monday, July 5, 2010 these statistics were recorded throughout the state of California by Alex Cohen, writer and radio spokesman for Southern California Radio. Eighteen deaths were recorded with over three quarters of them being related to alcohol-related accidents. 1,329 people were arrested and given a DUI! That’s just in three days!! Take into consideration this probably isn’t even a quarter of the people who were driving under the influence! Think about it, how many people did you pass on the way to the gas station who was drunk? You will never know officially, but chances are, probably more than two in one short trip!
In the somewhat smaller state of Colorado, the following statistics were presented on the “My Denver DUI Lawyer” web site. Four deaths resulting from traffic accidents were recorded on the Fourth of July while one was found to be alcohol-related. No previous record of driving under the influence was found for the drunk driver, which goes to show you that ANYONE can be a victim of an alcohol-related death. During the summer of 2010, the Colorado Police Force was undergoing the “100 Days of Heat” program, where they were cracking down on drunk drivers throughout the summer months. During the 100 days which started the day before Memorial Day Weekend, police arrested 1,339 drunk drivers, while 615 of those arrests occurred on July 4th. That is over half of all the arrests made over the entire summer!
With these statistics in mind, we need to take the warning and learn how to protect ourselves from drunk drivers, DUI’s, other arrests, and DEATH! Below are four tips to get you started!!
1.) First things first. Most people drink on 4th of July. The holiday is notorious for drinking and no one can stop that. If you drink on the 4th of July, or ANY day for that matter, DON’T DRIVE!! I understand you when you say, “I got this!” “I’m good!” “It will be fine!” or “It’s not that far!” Truth of the matter is EVERYONE says something along these lines before they either, 1. Have a wreck and kill themselves or someone else or 2. Get a DUI. I also understand that everyone does it and I understand that Billy just left the party and he was toasted and he made it home! That doesn’t mean you will!
2.) Get to your destination early during the day. Whether you are staying home to party, heading to the river or beach, or going to a friend’s house, get there early and stay there! Even if you aren’t drinking, that doesn’t mean no one else is and I would be pretty peeved if I got killed by someone who just said, “I GOT THIS!”
3.) If you decide to drink, make sure that you have a designated driver or either somewhere to sleep or stay at your current destination! DO NOT GET BEHIND THE WHEEL OF A CAR!!!
4.) For adults with minors… yeah… you… the 40 year old woman who has been drinking for years and have never even been pulled over, if you are going to let your minors drink, KEEP THEM HOME AND DON’T LET THE PARTY GET OUT OF CONTROL!! Police will show up and you will be taking responsibility for them! Yes, they can lie for you and say you didn’t know, but sorry dear, it doesn’t work that way. Someone is going to jail and if there is more than one adult… well… more than one adult will be going to jail!
Fireworks are another great factor of injuries and deaths recorded on during the 4th of July Holiday. According to Popular Mechanics website, in the U.S. Nearly 10,000 people are treated for firework-related injuries with most of them occurring during the 4th of July Holiday. 22% of those injuries are related to the innocent sparklers that so many small children love to play with, twirling them about in the night air. So along with protecting yourself from drunk driving and other alcohol related incidents, you need to be cautious of fireworks as well! Here are 5 tips to keep you and your family safe from fireworks this July 4th Holiday!
1.) Always view fireworks from a safe distance, and even though most people love to shoot fireworks themselves, try to only watch fireworks put on display by professionals.
2.) If fireworks will be displayed around your home either by professionals or family and friends, check to make sure your smoke detectors are working properly before starting the show. This may sound cheesy, but countless homes are set on fire during a firework display by neighbors, friends or the owners of the home. Sometimes you can’t tell where the hot fireworks land. Dry leaves in your homes gutter could easily be set ablaze without you knowing until its too late.
3.) Keep a fire-extinguisher nearby and be sure that you and other spectators know how to use it before the show begins.
4.) Keep a first-aid kit handy just in case of an emergency. Include burn cream, band-aids, Neosporin, and rubbing alcohol inside your first-aid kit. Kits can be bought from just about any store nearby including: most convenient stores, Wal-Mart, drug stores, Publix, Target, and any sporting/outdoor goods store.
5.) NEVER use fireworks while consuming alcohol. This is a formula for disaster!
So with this, I want to point out that I didn’t say that I will not be enjoying myself on the 4th of July. But I will follow this advice! It may save me and it may save everyone who is with me! Be safe this 4th of July holiday! Follow these tips and use common sense. Let’s try to make it to 4th of July, 2012 with everyone we love and care about so that we can party it up again!! Happy Independence Day everyone!! Hope it’s an unforgettable one!