Brian spoke to Dr. Adrian Blotner, a psychiatrist and addiction expert, to discuss some of the reasons why people refer to July 4th as the deadliest holiday when it comes to drunk driving.
Why is the 4th of July such a deadly holiday?
Nowadays people relate having fun with consuming alcohol or other substances and there is a difference between consuming what you can handle versus consuming what you are not used to consume. This second one is generally the one that brings the negative consequences that go along consuming more and more of those substances. Based on statistics sales in alcohol increase around July 4th, and basically, 40% of the deaths in this holiday are alcohol-related. This Independence Day, Americans may want to give a bit more thought to their drinking and consider celebrations that can avoid death.
People are expected to travel by car this four-day long weekend to celebrate Independence Day, and most of the trips on the Fourth are to BBQs with grilled hot dogs, burgers and many cases of beer. Grills may start around noon but fireworks begin around 9:30 or 10:00 p.m. which means that the alcohol consumption spans over many hours and if people overdo it, the effects last longer. Beyond that, with the Fourth landing on a Thursday this year, many people are turning it into an extended long weekend, which also has them out on the road.
According to USA Today, Louisiana ranks #17 in America’s drunkest states. The high drinking rate in Louisiana contributes to the high premature death rate. American flags, apple pie, cookouts, and fireworks are things largely associated with Independence Day in Baton Rouge, but so are car accidents. With the rise in traveling comes also the increased chance for tragedy to occur and even more when alcohol is a factor. They recommend designating a sober driver ahead of time before the party starts, call a taxi or use public transit. Also, it is important to make sure that every occupant in the vehicle is buckled up.
Dr. Adrian recommends people to learn from past experiences and stats about deaths related to Independence Day’s alcohol consumption and have a safely fourth of July!
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