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Help Save Lives this July 4th By Johanna Hicks

Help Save Lives This July Fourth!

For the past 242 years, on July Fourth, Americans have celebrated the birth of our great nation.  We set off fireworks, fly American flags, attend special concerts, and partake in backyard barbecues and pool parties galore.  But as the celebrations wind down and friends and families head home, it’s vital we all work together to spread this life-saving message: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.  This Independence Day, Hopkins County Extension Office, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) want to remind you that any time you drive under the influence of alcohol, you put everyone in danger — including yourself.  Even though it is still a week away, during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, make sure you plan for safe transportation to and from festivities.

During the 2016 July Fourth holiday, 188 people nationwide were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.  In Texas, 14 people lost their lives during the 2016 July Fourth holiday.  That’s 14 families who will forever remember Independence Day with a heavy heart and nightmarish memories.

We want our community to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday, but we want them to do so responsibly. This is why we want to help get the message out thatBuzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.  This is not a joke, and it’s not a time to test the laws.  Drunk driving is illegal, but it’s also deadly.  It’s deadly to the driver, to the driver’s passengers, and to other road users in this community.  We’re imploring you: Please ensure you have a sober driver lined up to get you home safely from your holiday festivities. Doing so could save a life.  Better yet, choose a different beverage altogether!

With Fourth of July festivities wrapping up in the evening or late at night, more cars will be on the roads.  The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes is higher at night.  During the 2016 July Fourth holiday period, it was more than three-times higher at night than it was during the day.  If you plan on drinking, plan how you will get around without driving.

Remember these tips for a safe night on the roads:

  • It is never okay to drive after drinking. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride sharing service to get home safely.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact the local law enforcement.
  • Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

This Fourth of July, commit to only driving 100 percent sober, because Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

Community Health Talks

               Hopefully by now, you’ve heard about the Community Health Talks round table series that our Hopkins County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office has planned.  The Extension Leadership Advisory Board spear-headed the idea, and registration is now open!  Both sessions will be held at the Extension Office, 1200 W. Houston Street, in Sulphur Springs, at 6:30 p.m..  We are located next door to the Southwest Dairy Museum and directly in front of the Civic Center.

               The July 6th round table discussion will focus on diseases affecting pets and humans, such as rabies, led by Dr. Leah Larsen, owner of Bright Star Veterinary Clinic.  Danielle Altenbaumer with the Department of State Health Services will help clear up the confusion about vaccinations for humans – what is needed, when, and who.  The July 13th session will focus on food security and food safety.  Brad Fain, with Zoetis Animal Health will lead the discussion.  Safe food handling will also be covered.

               There is no cost for either session – come to one or both!  We’ll have coffee and cookies in ready supply.  Please call our office at 903-885-3443 if you would like to attend.

Closing Thought

Life is not long, and too much of it must not pass in idle deliberation on how it shall be spent – Samuel Johnson

Johanna Hicks
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Family & Consumer Sciences
1200-B W. Houston
P.O.Box 518
Sulphur springs, TX 75483
903-885-3443 – phone
903-439-4909 – Fax
[email protected]

Author: Savannah Owens

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