On Independence Day, many Americans will come together to celebrate the birth of our nation. Millions will find themselves firing up the grill in their backyard, hanging by the pool or maybe even on a beach. While COVID-19 has definitely impacted big events and gatherings across the nation, the reopening phases of restaurants and beaches have brought more people out in an attempt to navigate this “new normal” – socially distant and safely, of course.

Last year, statistical data reports estimated that Americans ate nearly 150 million hot dogs and toasted to freedom with beer and wine, totaling more than $1.6 million. In previous years, nearly 15,000 firework displays occurred for the 4th of July holiday. This year, many large displays have been canceled but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a few fireworks stands in your town to set off. Be sure to check your neighborhood rules and/or county restrictions prior to lighting a few sparks.

However, we want to make sure you are celebrating responsibly and remind you of the dangers that come with driving while impaired. Too often, fireworks with friends and family turns tragic on the roads. The 4th of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year for drunk-driving crashes. In 2018, 193 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. 40% of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired crashes. If you know you’ll be at an Independence Day party, and plan to drink, make plans ahead of time for a sober ride home.

  • If you are a host, help your guests who are driving by providing plenty of non-alcoholic beverages.
  • If you are the designated driver, don’t drink! It’s important to remember that if you are the sober driver for the day or evening – don’t even consume one drink. Even one drink can alter your ability to get yourself and others home safely.

Stay safe this 4th of July holiday. Keep yourself and your friends and family off the roads if they are planning to participate in festivities involving alcohol. Remember: if you feel different, you drive different.