It’s time for everyone’s favorite summer holiday, a weekend filled with BBQs, fireworks, and red, white, and blue! 4th of July celebrations bring festive energy and a celebratory spirit, as well as an abundance of drivers on the road.

The City of Seattle is working with Uber to encourage drivers to plan for safe rides home as they head to and from their 4th of July celebrations. The Ballard News-Tribunedescribes that earlier this year the City of Seattle began a pilot program, in collaboration with Uber. This partnership is part of the City’s Vision Zero initiative, which seeks to end Seattle traffic deaths by 2030. The goals of the Seattle/Uber collaboration are to prevent impaired driving, raise awareness, and provide easy access to safe and dependable rides home when people have been drinking.

The article cites that over 10,000 car crashes occur each year, which lead to an average of 20 fatalities. 30% of these fatalities are a result of impaired driving. The City of Seattle and Uber are working together to change this pattern and have several strategies in place this weekend:

Seattle expects to see many thousands of people at Gas Works Park on Monday to watch the fireworks over Lake Union. Uber and the Seattle Department of Transportation are making suggestions about how to most easily access Uber rides following the festivities (link). There is also a promo code offered all day on July 4th for new and existing Uber riders. Enter POOLHOME in the Uber app and receive 2 free uberPool rides!

There is no good reason for impaired driving, especially with an app making it so quick, easy, and affordable to get home safely.

We urge you to understand what is at stake if you choose to drink and drive:

  • Driving under the influence puts at risk your own life and the lives of others.
  • You could also be looking at large fines, jail time, drivers’ license suspension, and the long term impacts of a criminal record. Please see our prior post for a list of the current penalties and fines for DUI convictions in Washington State.
  • Employment, relationships, and immigration are other areas that can be adversely affected

Before you set out to celebrate, please review our party planning tips to help you stay safe:

  • Choose to drive sober or designate someone else to. If you are the designated driver, don’t drink.
  • Plan ahead: Have a game plan for your way home, leave car keys at home, and plan ahead to NOT drink and drive.
  • Use smartphone apps like Uber or Lyft. Be sure to use Uber’s promo code on July 4th: POOLHOME
  • Consider a limo or party bus if you are going out with a large group of drinkers.
  • If you have been drinking, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, use a rideshare company, or use public transportation to get home safely.
  • If you know others who are about to drive under the influence, help them make other arrangements to get home safely.

Legal Representation

If you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being charged with DUI, please contact an attorney immediately. These are significant charges and you should not try to tackle them without experienced counsel to advise you appropriately and advocate on your behalf.