State, federal agencies encourage safer July 4 travels

Alabama ranks in the top 10 deadliest states for Fourth of July impaired driving
Updated: Jul. 1, 2019 at 5:27 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 30 people died on Alabama roads due to impaired driving during the Fourth of July holiday from 2013-2017.

That puts Alabama in the top 10 deadliest states for Fourth of July impaired driving.

“Across the entire country we see a peak in alcohol impaired driving around some of these summer holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day and especially the Fourth of July,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King. “We want to make sure we get ahead of this holiday and remind people to arrange for a safe ride.”

King encourages drivers to think ahead by planning for a designated driver, using a ride-sharing service or public transportation instead of getting behind the wheel impaired.

Just a few drinks can lead to poor decisions for drivers, she warned.

There will be heavy local law enforcement presence throughout the state during the holiday weekend to help keep the public safe.

“It’s important that everybody know that law enforcement will be out in force this weekend to save lives,” King said.

Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey said there is zero tolerance for driving under the influence.

Bailey and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and Montgomery sheriff and police are urging citizens to celebrate safely and responsibly.

Additionally, the Alabama Department of Transportation announced there will be no temporary lane closures on Alabama interstates after noon on Wednesday, July 3, through midnight, Sunday, July 7.

Officials expect 49 million Americans to be traveling this Independence Day, so ALDOT encourages drivers to allow extra time to reach their destination.

“Drivers should prepare to safely navigate the busy roads during the Independence Day holiday, as travelers drive to and from Alabama beaches, lakes and other popular summer destinations,” said ALDOT Drive Safe Alabama Coordinator Allison Green.

ALDOT offers three holiday travel tips: buckle up, designate a sober driver, and slow down. Speeding is the leading contributing factor in fatal crashes on Alabama roads, according to ALDOT.

Green has a final reminder for Alabama drivers during this holiday weekend: “Drive sober, alert and buckled up.”

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