Roadside Chat - Party if you please, but give up the keys

7-1 party if you pleaseWith a long Independence Day holiday in front of us, many people will be celebrating with friends and family. If you’re attending a party where alcohol will be served, set up your sober ride in advance to keep us all safer on Iowa roads this weekend.

Did you know that every day, about 32 people in the United States die in crashes caused by drunk drivers? Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that in 2020, 11,654 people died in these crashes. That’s one death every 45 minutes.

Over the three-day Independence Day holiday in Iowa in 2020, there were five deaths on Iowa’s highways. Four of the five deaths were caused by drunk drivers.

Here are some common ways to get make sure everyone is safe.

  • Designate a responsible, sober driver before the party starts.
  • Call a rideshare service if your guests need a sober ride.
  • Keep the keys. If you’re hosting a party, collect the car keys of anyone who is drinking to help them make the decision to not drive buzzed or drunk.
  • Stay put. If you’re hosting a gathering, consider letting your guests stay at your place instead of driving buzzed or drunk.

Even though Robert Veeder is in recovery and now helping others, he still thinks of his six victims and their families every day -

In Iowa in 2022, there have been 147 deaths in traffic crashes. That’s an increase of five since last Friday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at

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