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Police on the lookout for drunk driving July 4

Fourth of July celebrations are often the highlight of summer for many in Oklahoma. Picnics, parades and fireworks are favorite ways to celebrate Independence Day with friends and family. Often, those celebrations include alcoholic beverages to lighten the mood and heighten the festive atmosphere. However, those festive feelings can dissipate quickly when a driver is pulled over for drunk driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that over 10,000 people died in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents in 2015. Since drunk driving accidents typically occur more frequently during holiday periods, law enforcement and other agencies are working to prevent tragedies. This includes public awareness programs, educational campaigns and increased police presence.

Authorities urge those who plan on celebrating over the holiday to plan ahead to have a sober driver. Waiting to make this decision until after one has started drinking may result in unwise choices. In addition to avoiding getting behind the wheel, partiers are encouraged to look out for one another, preventing friends from driving by arranging rides or taking their keys. Further, anyone who is on the road and spots a potentially impaired driver can contact police.

If someone is unfortunate enough to get pulled over for drunk driving or to be involved in an accident after drinking, they certainly have a good deal to be concerned about. Drunk driving convictions, especially following an accident, carry serious penalties and sometimes lifelong consequences. Obtaining the counsel of an experienced Oklahoma attorney at the earliest opportunity may mitigate some of those potentially negative consequences.

Source: muskogeephoenix.com, "Tips for a safe Fourth of July", Linda Provost, June 30, 2017

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