The 4th of July is a holiday where we celebrate our liberty and independence.  No one wants to spend it in jail.

According to DrinkingandDriving.org, 38 out of every 10, 000 South Carolinians are arrested for drunk driving every year.  But the number of arrests spikes over the holidays, as police all over South Carolina work overtime setting up DUI checkpoints to catch impaired drivers.

 Expect the police to be out in full force this weekend. 

 The reason for this is that the Fourth of July has repeatedly ranked as the deadliest holiday of the year — even deadlier than New Year’s Day.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious risk.   Under South Carolina law a DUI arrest and conviction can lead to fines, incarceration, and loss of your driving license. Impaired driving also carries serious insurance consequences. If your insurer discovers you’ve been convicted of a DUI, your car insurance rates could increase or your policy may be cancelled or not renewed.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been tracking car crash statistics for a quarter of a century. Fourth of July almost always tops the list. Statistics gathered over the past 25 years show that, on average; nearly 51 percent of all deadly traffic crashes on July 4 are related to alcohol — although that percentage varies from year to year. Other holidays on the list include Labor Day, New Year’s, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Two years ago (the latest statistics available), 491 people died in car accidents during the three-day Fourth of July weekend. Out of that total, 43 percent died as a result of alcohol-impaired driving. By comparison, 423 people died that same year during the four-day period surrounding New Year’s Day. In this case, 41 percent were alcohol related.

The deadliest days
Holiday Fatalities
Fourth of July
(July 4-6)
491 deaths
(43 percent alcohol related)
Labor Day
(Aug. 30-Sept. 1)
487 deaths
(40 percent alcohol related)
Memorial Day
(May 24-26)
425 deaths
(41 percent alcohol related)
New Year’s
(Jan. 1-4)
423 deaths
(41 percent alcohol related)
Thanksgiving
(Nov. 27-30)
502 deaths
(36 percent alcohol related)
Christmas
(Dec. 24-27)
420 deaths
(34 percent alcohol related)
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2008 data