July 4th one of deadliest days on U.S. roads

(WTNH)–The July fourth holiday is always a tough time of year for Skip Church and his wife. 12 years ago this week, his son Dustin was killed by a drunk driver. Since then, he’s dedicated his life to awareness of the dangers associated with drinking and driving.

“Anything that anybody can do to avoid drinking and driving will save some other family from going through what we went through,” Church said. “It never goes away. It’s with you all the time. And it’s the worst thing that could happen to you as a parent.”

Since Friday, state police have reported 36 arrests for driving under the influence. There’s been almost 2,500 hazardous driving violations.

Also since Friday, there have been 275 accidents on Connecticut state roads, two of which were fatal, including a six-car pile-up on I-95 in East Haven Saturday.

“We’re happy staying off the roads,” said Leslie Sandoz, who came to Connecticut from Maryland for the weekend.

Since his child’s death, Church has helped pass laws to strengthen drunk driving penalties, including a new child endangerment penalty for those driving drunk with children in the vehicle. He also helped get a law passed requiring an ignition interlock device for anyone arrested for DUI.

“We have stopped more than 105,000 cars from starting because the people who blew into the device were above the limit for that,” Church said.

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