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Celebrate safely this Fourth of July

Posted on July 2, 2014

The Fourth of July holiday falls on a Friday this year, which means that many Louisiana residents will be out celebrating. However, the state’s highway safety officials want to remind drivers to celebrate responsibly. That means no drinking and driving.

“Alcohol is a factor in more than 40 percent of all vehicle crash deaths in Louisiana, but drunken driving is often even more prevalent during holidays such as the Fourth of July,” said the executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.

In fact, alcohol played a role in all three of the fatal car accidents that took place over the Independence Day holiday in 2012, the most recent year for which statistics are available. That year also saw 207 injuries from car accidents.

In effort to keep drunk drivers off of the roads, state law enforcement will be participating in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. Campaigns like this one have been partly responsible for a decline in traffic fatalities over the past several years, officials say.

The executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission said the campaigns are often focused on times of the year when there are more vehicles on the roads than usual and drunk driving is a greater concern, such as the Fourth of July weekend.

In addition to facing the penalties associated with criminal drunk driving charges, individuals who cause serious accidents while impaired can also face civil liability in the form of personal injury lawsuits.

Ultimately, driving drunk is not a risk worth taking in Louisiana or anywhere else, which is why it’s important to plan a sober ride before kicking off your Fourth of July celebrations.

Source: ArkLaTexhomepage.com, “LA Highway Safety Officials urge safe holiday driving,” Jade Cunningham, June 27, 2014