OAK HILL -- I want to take this opportunity to wish any and all a happy and safe Fourth of July today and through the extended holiday weekend.
It's holidays like this where family and friends get together for a barbecue, perhaps go the beach or Mosquito Lagoon right here in Oak Hill.
Or maybe maybe venture on up to Daytona International Speedway for the races or catch the fireworks shows in Edgewater or New Smyrna Beach.
Whatever your Fourth of July plans and above all else, please keep your family and other loved ones safe. And remember one too many can lead to disaster and a lifetime of regret. As a Florida state trooper before retiring, I saw more than my fair share of the deadly consequences of drinking and driving.
Tragedy seems to strike during the big holidays like the Fourth and Thanksgiving when more people are drinking and then getting behind the wheel that things can change in an heartbeat or the blink of an eye.
Here is some food for thought that ought to sober you up from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration :
Americans love to celebrate the Fourth of July, but all too often, the festivities turn tragic on the nation's roads. The fact is, this iconic American holiday is also one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to drunk-driving crashes.
According to data from NHTSA, during July 4th holidays over the five years (from 2007 to 2011), 780 people lost their lives in crashes involving drivers who had BACs of at least .08 g/dL. These fatalities account for 40 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities over this same five-year period.