FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|CONTACT:||Buel C. Young||MVA Organization Relations|
Don’t Let The Fourth of July Blow Up In Your Face
"The Consequences of Drinking and Driving Are Real"
GLEN BURNIE, MD (June 25, 2010) -- This year as you celebrate Independence Day, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) wants to remind you of the consequences of drinking and driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Fourth of July is the deadliest day to drive. More fatal traffic accidents occur on this holiday than any other.
When you accept a Maryland driver’s license, you agree to abide by all laws and regulations. If you are detained by a police officer who suspects that you are driving impaired by either drugs or alcohol, you can be tested for a blood alcohol concentration.
If you refuse to be tested, your driver’s license is automatically suspended for 120 days.
If your blood alcohol registers a concentration of .08 or more, you are legally considered under the influence and the MVA can suspend your license. The MVA can take action against you even if you are found not guilty of using alcohol or drugs.
The costs of driving impaired only escalate from there. Your automobile insurance provider may cancel your policy. Penalties are even greater if you drive impaired with children in the car. Fines of $4,000 and prison sentences of up to four years could result.
An alcohol interlock system may also be attached to your car if you are caught driving impaired. Every time you want to drive, you will be required to blow into the interlock system to determine whether or not you are free of alcohol.
Driving impaired is simply not worth the risk. The consequences are serious and real. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but also the trauma and financial cost of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be significant.
In Maryland, the number of alcohol and impaired crashes has dropped slightly from 8,556 in 2004 to 8,145 in 2008. Though that number went up to 8,697 in 2006. Fatal crashes have also gone down from 183 in 2004 to 155 in 2008. However, the number of fatal crashes rose to 199 in 2006.
It makes sense this Independence Day, to designate an alcohol free driver if you are traveling. “We want everyone who wants to enjoy this holiday to do so, sensibly. Whether you are at a cook-out close to home or traveling to see fireworks, drinking and driving don’t mix. It is entirely possible that you will lose your driver’s license if you are caught driving impaired,” said MVA Administrator John Kuo.
Follow these simple safety tips to ensure your safety during this year’s festivities:
- Plan a safe way home before your celebrations begin;
- If you plan to get a ride home with someone else, designate a sober driver before any drinking begins;
- If you're impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely;
- Consider using your community's Sober Rides program by calling Tipsy Taxi in the Baltimore metro area at 1-877-963-TAXI and Sober Ride in Montgomery County, Prince George's County and the DC metro area at 1-800-200-TAXI;
- If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don't hesitate to contact local law enforcement;
- And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive or ride their motorcycle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.