Fourth of July Deadly Time to Drink

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The Fourth of July has repeatedly ranked as the deadliest holiday of the year -- even deadlier than New Year's Day. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that the Fourth of July almost always tops the list of deadliest holidays.

Statistics gathered over the past 25 years show that nearly 51 percent of all deadly traffic crashes on July 4 and are related to alcohol. Other holidays on the list include Labor Day, New Year's, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

"Drunk driving is a major public safety threat that still claims thousands of lives every year," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, in a recent media release. "Many states continue to step up their efforts to get drunk drivers off our roads, but the numbers tell us we have to do more."

The three-day Fourth of July holiday tends to tempt more people than usual to combine alcohol with driving, and officers will be out in force to keep the roadways safe. Lt. Col. John LeBlanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Commission, said law enforcement officers from local police to state troopers will be stepping up patrols during the holiday in an effort to crack down on drunken drivers on the state's roadways and waterways.

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"Because the Fourth of July holiday falls on a Monday this year, we can expect a longer period during which people make poor choices about drinking then driving," he said. "Those impaired motorists and boat operators endanger lives and need to be kept from turning such a revered holiday into a tragedy."

“Summer is always a difficult time. People are on vacation and that means it is party time for some people," he added that children are out of school, as well, which increases the risk of underage drinking and driving.

"Prevention is the key to reducing alcohol-related crashes on our highways. It's a commitment that's shared by every law enforcement agency in the state," said state police Superintendent Col. Michael Edmonson, who said his troopers will be out in force during the extended holiday weekend. "We will use every resource to locate and arrest those drivers who choose to drink and drive."

Colonel Winford E. Phillips Governor's Highway Safety Representative stated that, "No matter your age, if you've been drinking or may be impaired in any manner, you should find a safe and sober ride to your destination or face the likelihood of being arrested."

Happy Fourth of July from Emax Health and please, enjoy your holiday safely.

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