Residents in Connecticut like their counterparts around the country often look forward to the Fourth of July with excitement. This holiday is not only a time for people to celebrate their country and its history but to enjoy being together in the lovely summertime when they can be outside and feel free in the warm sun. However, the feeling of freedom that can accompany an outdoor summer get-together can be all but forgotten when a loved one is killed at the hands of a negligent drunk driver.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, both July 3 and July 4 ranked in the top 10 deadliest days on American roads over a period of five years spanning from 2010 through 2014. Vox reports that in that time period, 533 people died in automotive accidents on July 3. Of those, 219 died due to drunk drivers. On those five Independence Days, a total of 592 vehicular fatalities were recorded, 278 of which were attributed to alcohol.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation are attempting to raise awareness about this problem with their campaign called “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.” Their records show that in 2016, 188 lives were lost in drunk driving accidents over the Fourth of July holiday. That number represents an increase by 28 percent over the prior year when 146 fatalities occurred.
While many of the deaths involved a driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 percent or more, a good number saw the drunk driver with a BAC between 0.08 and 0.15 percent proving that even a slight buzz can be deadly.