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Fourth of July Drunk Driving Prevention Resources

The Fourth of July holiday is one of the most dangerous because of the number of drunk driving motor vehicle crashes each year. Over the Fourth of July weekend (from 6 p.m. July 3 to 6 a.m. a.m. July 7) in 2014, 164 people were killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator who had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. Those preventable deaths make up 41 percent of the 397 people killed in motor vehicle crashes over the Fourth of July period that year. Also notable is that those at greatest risk for death in an alcohol-related car accident are young people, even though they cannot legally purchase or possess alcohol.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers a range of outreach and education resources in both English and Spanish to help communities prevent drunk driving.

Visit the NHTSA website to get the Fourth of July Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over materials and the Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving materials.

July Is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to create awareness about how mental and substance use disorders affect minorities in the United States. Individuals with mental disorders are more likely to use alcohol than those not affected by mental disorders.

Last year, alcohol use rates of young people ages 12 and older were lower among minorities than Whites.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, alcohol use in 2014 by people ages 12 or older were as follows:

  • 71 percent of Whites
  • 65 percent of persons reporting two or more races
  • 60 percent of Hispanics/Latinos
  • 59 percent of Blacks/African Americans
  • 55 percent of American Indians/Alaska Natives
  • 53 percent of Asians
  • 52 percent of Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders

Read about the National Survey on Drug Use and Health findings here. Visit SAMHSA's webpage to learn more about strategies to reduce the impact of mental and substance use disorders in the United States.

College Students More Likely To Initiate Drinking In June and July

Summer is the season when young people, including college students ages 18–20, most often first start drinking alcohol as compared with other seasons of the year. Findings from SAHMSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 3,556 college students, ages 18–20, drank alcohol for the first time in June and July. In contrast, between 667 and 1,517 college students drank alcohol for the first time during most other months of the year.

Read more about monthly variations in substance use initiation among college students in this National Survey on Drug Use and Health short report.