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Drunk driving accidents increase during holiday weekends

Independence Day celebrations throughout the United States are commonplace over the July 4 weekend every year. Family, friends and communities come together to celebrate with fireworks, food and drink. Generally, the mood is festive. Many Illinois residents may not immediately make the connection but during Independence Day celebrations drunk driving accidents are the main cause of fatal car crashes.

According to the National Safety Council, over 400 fatal car accidents occur over the three-day Independence Day weekend. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that nearly 40 percent of all traffic-related fatalities over the holiday are alcohol-related. In addition to drunk driving, other traffic violations such as driving at excessive speeds, being distracted behind the wheel, and not wearing a seat beat also contributed to car crashes.

Celebrating Independence Day safely is important for everyone. During the three-day Independence Day holiday, Illinois State troopers are vigilant and very busy enforcing DWI laws, other traffic laws and trying to keep the road safe for other law abiding motorists. In an effort to reduce the incidence of drunk driving accidents and car crashes in general, Illinois State police has a friendly reminder for residents to stay sober, drive sober, to have a designated driver, take public transportation if possible or take a taxi if intoxicated. The best option could be to not indulge in drinking alcohol at all, but if one is planning on celebrating with alcohol, then one should have a plan.

For those who suspect that someone is driving drunk on the roads or see a drunk driver, it is important to dial 911. By being vigilant, observant, and implementing simple and common sense safety tips, together drunk driving accidents can be minimized and prevented.

Source: Advantage News, "Illinois State Police urge safe travel over holiday weekend," July 2, 2015

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