Drinking Alcohol and the 4th of July

…can be a Dangerous Combination

The 4th of July is a particularly special holiday, as Americans celebrate our country’s independence from Great Britain. We would like to remind you that drinking too much alcohol on the 4th of July and getting behind the controls of a car, motorcycle, boat, skateboard or even bicycle can cause you to lose your own personal freedoms…or worse.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 4th of July weekend is the deadliest holiday of the year due to alcohol-related traffic accidents. In the past 25 years, 51 percent of all deadly crashes over the 4th of July weekend have been alcohol-related.

But roadways do not present the only peril – waterways warrant similar precautionary measures. Keep in mind that, in a boat, it’s not just the alcohol consumption of the driver that raises concern; passengers who are drinking alcohol are more susceptible to injury or death from slipping or falling overboard and drowning.

As a special note of caution to parents, the number of underage people visiting hospital emergency departments nearly doubles over the 4th of July weekend due to drinking alcohol. It’s commonly known that the adolescent brain is not yet fully developed and drinking alcohol damages the brain’s executive function in kids. Parents who want their children to grow up to realize their full potential should not condone drinking.

The 4th of July holiday weekend is also good time to remind ourselves of the USDA guidelines for the safe consumption of alcohol. USDA recommendations include men should consume no more than two drinks a day and women no more than one drink per day. A drink is defined as:

  • 12 ounces of regular beer (five percent alcohol)
  • Five ounces of wine (12 percent alcohol)
  • 1.5 ounce shot of 80-proof distilled spirits is 40 percent alcohol by volume

As you prepare to celebrate our country’s independence, be sure to plan your alcohol strategy. Here are some tips to help you have a safe holiday weekend:

  • Be aware of your tolerance for alcohol consumption and decide ahead of time to stick to it.
  • At any gathering, make sure there is a designated driver for guests who will be drinking.
  • If you find yourself impaired by too much alcohol consumption, call a taxi, a sober friend or take public transportation to get home safely.

All of us here at Sober Partners wish you a safe and happy 4th of July!

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