‘We want you to get home safe. That is our goal:’ WPD wants you to have a plan in place before celebrating the holiday

‘We want you to get home safe. That is our goal:’ WPD wants you to have a plan in place before celebrating the holiday
Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 8:41 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - There are plenty of celebrations going on this holiday weekend around southeastern North Carolina, but the Wilmington Police Department wants to make sure you and your loved ones return home safely.

The Fourth of July holiday is one of the deadliest when it comes to drunk-driving crashes.

In 2020, which is the last recorded year of data, 41% of deaths around the holiday were caused by drivers under the influence.

“Impaired driving is unfortunately a daily occurrence,” said Officer Michael Brannon with the Wilmington Police Department. “You do obviously see an uptick in it during the holidays and during special events and things like that.”

Officer Brannon’s advice if you’re planning on heading out this holiday weekend, have a plan in place for you and your group. If you’re consuming alcohol, you need to plan on calling a rideshare service or have a designated driver.

“Impaired driving is 100% preventable,” he says. “It is you the driver who consumes it. It is you the driver who gets behind the wheel and is you the driver who decides to drive away.”

He says if you find yourself in a pinch, even asking an officer to help you find a way home is better than getting behind the wheel while impaired.

“There’s always an option to get home,” Brannon says. “Find a friend, find a designated driver, find a Lyft an Uber, a taxi, find an officer. We’ll try to help you get home if we can, we’ll figure something out.”

The Wilmington Police Department along with other agencies across the region will be holding checkpoints throughout the weekend to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.

“Usually the one that suffers the most is the innocent party,” he says. “Don’t drink and drive. We don’t want you to drive impaired, we want you to get home safe, that is our goal.”

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