BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) – A combination of increased traffic, parties, public celebrations, and alcohol can cause a lot of trouble on the road. According to autoinsurance.org, the United States averages 450 fatal crashes during the 4th of July holiday period. As a result, police departments step up patrols and have more officers out to catch impaired drivers before they get into an accident.
“We’ll have additional officers out throughout the entire fourth of July weekend. It could start at 6 a.m. or 8 a.m. and run all the way up to midnight,” said Jamie Wilhite; Sgt. at Beckley Police Department.
Jonathan Morton is a Trooper with the West Virginia State Police. WVSP will also have troopers patrolling the roads. Morton said they look for typical signs of drunk or impaired driving, and receive cooperation from other drivers who spot drivers that could be potentially dangerous.
“Typically, usual clues are weaving on the road way. A lot of times though, citizens help a lot by just calling and notifying us because we can’t be everywhere at once,” Morton explained.
The key to being safe on the roads is being aware of yourself and others. Wilhite said personal responsibility and safety are key in preventing serious injury or death during heavy travel times.
“The harsh truth about it is people who take that step are irresponsible, they’re selfish. Be a grown up, be an adult. If you’ve had too much, if you feel different,” said Wilhite.
Getting pulled over for a DUI can be expensive between attorney and ticket costs, but the biggest consequence is putting other people’s lives in danger.
“The worst decision could be you killing somebody or causing somebody serious injury due to a vehicle crash,” said Wilhite.
Police recommend making a plan like choosing a designated driver or sleeping accommodations before you start drinking.