Slow Down, Drive Sober, and Stay Safe This Independence Day Weekend

Date Posted: July 2nd, 2021 @ 11:25 AM
Last Updated: July 4th, 2021 @ 11:29 AM
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Lieutenant Jeff Thomason, 510.777.8782,

Slow Down, Drive Sober, and Stay Safe This Independence Day Weekend

Oakland, Calif. – Independence Day will be a three-day weekend this year, and the Oakland Police Department reminds people eager to get together with friends and family to enjoy the holiday responsibly.

The Oakland Police Department will have additional officers on patrol over the 4th of July weekend looking for drivers suspected of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

“Follow the speed limit, designate a sober driver and be thoughtful of others on the road also going to visit family and friends this weekend,” Lieutenant Jeff Thomason said. “Help make the Independence Day holiday safer for everyone by being calm, courteous, and patient when traveling.”

According to AAA Southern California, travel volumes in the state are expected to be above pre-pandemic levels (2020) and 46.1% higher compared to last July 4, so patience will be key. Allow extra time to get to your destination.

According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), 36 people were killed in collisions during the Fourth of July Maximum Enforcement Period from July 3 to July 7 last year. CHP officers also arrested more than 1,300 drivers on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Oakland Police Department reminds the public that alcohol is not the only thing that impairs your ability to drive safely. Prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and marijuana may also impair. Do your research and understand how a drug affects you before deciding whether you are OK to drive.

If you are celebrating or playing host, offer nonalcoholic drinks for designated sober drivers and monitor who is drinking. If you see people leaving who have been drinking, check on how they are getting home. If you see someone who appears impaired or driving recklessly, call 9-1-1.

Every week on average, two Oaklanders are killed or severely injured in traffic crashes on our streets. Driving under the influence is a top cause of these crashes, which disproportionately harm people in Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities, as well as people with disabilities, seniors, children, and low-income communities. All traffic crashes are preventable. Safe Oakland Streets (SOS) is a Citywide initiative that is taking a new approach to preventing traffic crashes. Our approach focuses on strategies that will save lives and deliver equitable outcomes. We are working across departments and partner agencies and building partnerships with communities most affected by these life-and-death issues. Learn more and join us at!