June 26, 2012
Marshall County - Most Americans may not realize it but, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes.
Sheriff Ted Kamatchus stated that nationwide, impaired-driving crashes killed more than 10,000 people in 2010, accounting for 31 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in the United States. That's an average of one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality every 51 minutes. Moreover, the percentage of fatalities from impaired driving spikes around the Fourth of July. According to NHTSA, 392 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes during the Fourth of July holiday in 2010 (6:00 p.m. July 2- 5:59 a.m. July 6.) Of those fatalities, 39 percent were in crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
That's why this Fourth of July, beginning July 2nd and continuing through July 8th, officers across Iowa, including the Marshall County Sheriff's Office, will step up their enforcement efforts as part of the ongoing "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" crackdown. The goal is to find and arrest impaired drivers who put themselves and others at risk.
During last year's four-day sTEP (Special Traffic Enforcement Program) enforcement wave, Iowa officers made 455 drunken driving contacts, and more than 12,700 traffic violations were reported by 225 law enforcement agencies across the state. During the official three-day holiday, six fatalities occurred on Iowa roadways.
The Marshall County Sheriff's Office is strongly urging all motorists to buckle up; slow down; and if you decide to drink, be responsible and designate a sober driver so all of us can enjoy a safe 4th of July holiday. The goal is to make the roads safer for everyone.
For more on the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over mobilization, please visit www.nhtsa.gov.
About Marshall County Sheriff's Office
The Marshall County, Iowa Sheriff's Office is headed up by Sheriff Ted G. Kamatchus. Sheriff Kamatchus is committed to keeping communities and neighborhoods safe in Marshall County.
For additional information or a sample copy, contact:
Deputy Ben Veren
Marshall County Sheriff's Office
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