Fourth of July celebrations often include cookouts, picnics, boating, time spent with family and friends and, of course, fireworks. But for too many Americans, the nation’s annual celebration is filled with tragedy, as it is one of the deadliest holidays of the year when it comes to alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities, according to a news release from Lincolnville police.

That’s why Lincolnville police will be out in force during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, cracking down on impaired drivers with aggressive Drunk Driving — Over the Limit, Under Arrest enforcement. Lincolnville police will be participating in summer-long OUI enforcement beginning July 1 and continuing through Sept. 5.

The first stage of enforcement will be a safety checkpoint roadblock in Lincolnville on July 1-2. Individual detail shifts targeted at impaired driving will continue throughout the summer.

Statistics gathered from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the past 25 years show that, on average, nearly half of all deadly traffic crashes over each year’s July 4th holiday involved some level of alcohol.

In fact, 410 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationally during the Fourth of July weekend in 2009. Of that number, 40 percent involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.

“The Fourth of July is a time most Americans spend celebrating with family and friends, but it is also one of the year’s deadliest times on our roadways,” said Lincolnville Police Chief Ron Young in a news release. “So we will be out in force cracking down on drunk driving. If you are caught driving impaired, you will be arrested.”

Young stated that impaired drivers not only take the risk of hurting or killing themselves or someone else, the trauma and financial costs of an alcohol-impaired-driving crash or an arrest can be significant. Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates and dozens of other unanticipated expenses.

“Alcohol impairs many of the skills that safe driving requires. So we will be showing zero tolerance, and anyone caught driving with a BAC of .08 or higher will be arrested,” said Young. “It’s simply not worth the risk to you or to the thousands of innocent victims who are hurt or killed each year by drunk drivers. So if you are over the limit, you will get busted.”

For more information, visit StopImpairedDriving.org.