Drive Safe and Sober During the Upcoming Fourth of July Weekend, Washington Lawyer Says

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Washington personal injury attorney Dean Brett urges motorcyclists and drivers to be mindful of the dangers of drinking and driving during the holiday period.

Dean Brett

Unfortunately, that ‘just one more for the road’ attitude that some drivers and motorcyclists have can lead to disastrous results. That’s why we want to remind people to drive safe and sober this holiday.

The Fourth of July weekend is a time to enjoy beaches, barbecues, friends, family and fireworks. Don’t let a poor decision to drive your car or operate your motorcycle after drinking turn the holiday into a time of tragedy, Washington personal injury attorney Dean Brett says.

“The Fourth of July can be one of the deadliest times of the year on our roads,” says Brett, a founding partner of Brett & Coats, Attorneys at Law, PLLC, a Bellingham, Washington/Whatcom County-based personal injury law firm with offices in Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane and Bellingham.

“Unfortunately, that ‘just one more for the road’ attitude that some drivers and motorcyclists have can lead to disastrous results. That’s why we want to remind people to drive safe and sober this holiday.”

Drunk driving is a serious problem throughout the year. In 2008, there were 37,261 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities throughout the country, including 182 in the state of Washington. Out of that number 11,773 people were killed in traffic crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.

During the July 4 holiday period in 2008, there were a total of 491 traffic related fatalities nationally, 43 percent of which involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a BAC of .08 or higher.

“Too many people ignore the fact that drinking and driving do not mix, and they put themselves and others at risk of harm,” Brett says. “It is a crime that can hurt innocent victims and their families. It’s important that people obey the law and use common sense during the holiday.”

Traditionally, the Washington State Patrol teams up with city and county authorities to place additional troopers and officers on the state’s roads during the Fourth of July weekend, targeting drunk, speeding and aggressive drivers. Two years ago, during the holiday period, Washington State Troopers arrested 261 drivers for DUI.

However, people can’t rely on law enforcement alone to prevent alcohol-related traffic deaths, Brett says.

He says that drivers and motorcyclists should follow these safety tips during the holiday period:

  •     If you use alcohol, designate a sober driver and give that person the car or motorcycle keys.
  •     If you decide to drink, call a taxi, friend or family member to get you home safely.
  •     Protect yourself: If you’re driving in car, wear your safety belt. If you’re riding a motorcycle, wear protective gear and clothing that makes you visible on the road.
  •     If you see a drunk driver or motorcycle rider on the road, contact law enforcement immediately.
  •     If you are at a party or tavern and know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them find another, safer way home.

About Brett & Coats

Brett & Coats, Attorneys at Law, PLLC, is a Washington personal injury law firm with offices in Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane and Bellingham. Vancouver. The firm represents victims of drunk drivers and other personal injury victims throughout the state of Washington, as well as residents of nearby British Columbia, Canada, who are involved in Washington injuries and accidents. For more information, call the firm at 1.800.925.1875, use its online form or visit http://www.victimsofdrunkdrivers.com.

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