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Celebrate With A Fatality-Free Holiday

By Staff | Jun 30, 2015

The Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office wants to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the upcoming Independence Day Holiday is a time of celebration with family and friends, food and fireworks. But, the Fourth of July holiday weekend is also one of the deadliest on the nation’s roadways, due to crashes involving alcohol.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2013, the most recent year that data is available from, 512 people were killed nationwide in motor vehicle crashes over the Fourth of July holiday, from 5 p.m. July 3 to 6 a.m. July 8. Of those deaths, 193, or 39 percent, occurred in crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. More than 20 percent of the impaired drivers involve in those fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or higher and the incidence of impaired driving was over three times higher at night than during the day.

Looking even closer, 27 percent of the motorcycle operators involve in fatal crashes had blood alcohol concentrations of .08 or higher. During that same time period, six people were killed on Iowa roadways. Half of those fatal crashes were alcohol related.

Extra law enforcement officers will be present on Iowa’s roadways from July 1 through July 7, watching for impaired drivers.

“If you have been drinking, don’t risk it; make a plan before the celebrations begin,” noted Palo Alto County Sheriff Lynn Schultes. “There is always another way home – arrange a ride or call a taxi and remember, Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.”