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Fourth of July: Deadliest day of the year on the road

Fourth of July: Deadliest day of the year on the road

The Fourth of July is the state’s deadliest day of the year on the road, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety.

In the last three years, Independence Day racked up 15 traffic deaths, topping May 22, which had 13, May 23, which had 11 and July 10, which had 11 for the deadliest 24-hour period.

DPS officials are stressing that motorists buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and plan ahead for a sober ride for the holiday.

Fourth of July travel periods — 78 hour period surrounding the holiday from 2009–2011 — had 21 deaths of which 14 were a result of an alcohol-impaired crash and 1,536 driving while impaired (DWI) arrest.

“The spike in drinking and driving deaths during the Fourth of July is a clear and simple reminder why Minnesotans need to plan ahead for a sober ride.” said Donna Berger, director of the DPS Office of Traffic Safety, in a news release.

Consequences of a DWI include thousands of dollars in costs, increased insurance rates, loss of license and possible jail time. Repeat DWI offenders, as well as first-time offenders arrested at 0.16 and above alcohol-concentration level must use interlock in order to regain legal driving privileges, or face at least one year without a driver’s license. Offenders with three or more offenses are required to use interlock for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges.

Ignition interlock requires the driver to provide a breath sample below 0.02 alcohol-concentration in order for the vehicle to start. Learn more about ignition interlock at

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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