Happy 4th of July from the Hartsville Police Department! We hope everyone has a great time this weekend celebrating our independence with family and friends. Celebrations involve good food off the grill, maybe fireworks as soon as it turns dark, and sometimes alcohol. Too often, our celebrations turn into tragedy when someone decides to drink and drive. The 4th of July is considered one of the deadliest holidays due to impaired drivers. We ask that you have a designated driver if you decide to drink. If you are hosting a party, please make sure your guests have a way to get home safely. If you see someone you suspect is driving impaired, please call 911 immediately. HPD wants everyone to make it home.
To make sure everyone makes it home safely, HPD will be stepping up aggressive impaired driving enforcement as part of our effort during this holiday and also during Operation Southern Shield that runs from July 12th to July 18th. Operation Southern Shield is a joint operation with law enforcement agencies from Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Tennessee. The goal is to increase enforcement to deter speeding, DUI, distracted driving and seatbelt violations. Our officers will be out and about during peak offense times making sure the streets in the City of Hartsville are safer for our citizens and guests. We will remain committed to our goal to keep everyone safe, and continue to adhere to the mission of Target Zero Traffic Deaths. Please join us in making the goal of this mission a reality.
This data shows why public education and enforcement of impaired driving are both so important. Over the 4th of July holiday period in 2018 (6 p.m. July 3rd to 5:59 a.m. July 5th):
193 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. 40% (78) of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired crashes. This compares to 2017 when 38% of the July 4th holiday period fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired crashes.
71% of those who died in alcohol-impaired crashes were in a crash involving at least one driver or motorcyclist with a BAC of .15 or higher.