‘Use your head,’ Law enforcement shares July 4th driving tips

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — Many people will be out driving this weekend for holiday celebrations.

On the 4th of July, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office sees an increase in alcohol related incidences across the county.

“Last year, across the country, we had 201 killed due to drunk driving,” said said Sgt. Richard King, with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department. “Use your head, don’t drink and drive. If you’re going to drink and participate in holiday festivities, please have somebody driving you.”

If you are caught driving under the influence, there will be consequences higher than just an insurance spike.

“You’re going to spend the night in jail. Very uncomfortable stay in jail. And then you’re looking at a $10,000 average cost of a DUI, includes your attorney fees and everything,” King said.

Plus, there may be others that will suffer the consequence of your decision too.

“Before you go out to celebrate, have a designated driver. If you don’t, think about how a DUI is going to affect you and your loved ones, and especially the latter. Who are you going to affect if you have DUI wreck,” King said.

King says to be extremely cautious driving due to an influx of people traveling to and from holiday celebrations, especially between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.

He advises everyone to drive defensively, especially on Highway 412, Interstate 40, and near recreational areas.

“You need to think about wearing your seatbelt, putting the phone down. Distracted driving is on its way to be the number one cause of all accidents. Motorcyclists. Ride defensively. Check your intersections and keep an eye on everybody else on the road,” King said.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office will have a DUI saturation patrol looking for those who don’t mind the law.

“If you’re going to be out there drinking and driving, just understand, if we don’t get you, [Tennessee Highway Patrol] will. If they don’t get you, [Jackson Police Department] will, and so on and so on. There’s more of us out there than people realize,” King said.

If you see or encounter unsafe driving behavior, you’re encouraged to say something to local law enforcement.

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