Kansas City, MO— This Independence Day, keep the red, white, and blue in the sky and out of your rearview mirror. To help keep the community safe, local law enforcement is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Region 7, consisting of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska, to spread the message about the dangers of drunk driving. Even one drink can be one too many. Remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

It’s important to understand that impairment can occur even after one or two drinks. According to NHTSA, 11,654 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes that involved an alcohol-impaired driver in 2020. That same year, 201 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the July 4th holiday period (6 p.m. July 2 to 5:59 a.m. July 6) involving alcohol-impaired drivers.

The goal is to save lives during what is usually one of the deadliest holidays on our roads.  Nighttime is a particularly dangerous time to be on the roads. The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2020 was 3.1 times higher at night than during the day.

In support of the law enforcement community’s dedication to protecting the lives of residents in their communities, you’ll see an increased presence of law enforcement working together during this holiday weekend to take impaired drivers off the roads.

“We want our communities to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday, but sadly, many people have made a terrible habit of driving after drinking,” said Regional Administrator Susan DeCourcy. “Our region lost 760 lives from drunk driving in 2020. For the cost of a sober ride, you can avoid a hefty fine and keep people safe. There’s never an excuse to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after you’ve been drinking. Doing so puts you, your passengers, and everyone on the road with you in harm’s way.”

This Fourth of July, commit to only driving 100% sober and plan ahead. Law enforcement knows how to spot a drunk driver on the road. NHTSA urges drivers to designate a sober driver before drinking any alcohol. If you plan on drinking, plan on not driving. If you are out on the roads and see an impaired driver, contact local law enforcement.

Don’t lose your independence on Independence Day, and don’t be a deadly risk to yourself and other innocent people. Remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. For more information on impaired driving, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/.