People who live in and around New Orleans rarely need to find an excuse to throw or attend a good party. The city is well-known throughout the country for accepting and even promoting a culture of revelry and celebration. But even New Orleans has its limits when it comes to partying; people cannot get out of control and endanger themselves and others.
Last weekend, Independence Day brought celebrations to New Orleans and many other cities and communities all across the country. The days around the Fourth of July are an especially popular time for celebratory events where people consume more alcohol than usual. Accordingly, this is also a time when drunk driving and car accidents are all too common.
Data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration shows that fatal car accidents involving drunk driving jump significantly around the Fourth of July. In one recent five-year period alone, 750 people died in drunk driving car crashes. That represented a whopping 39 percent of all fatal auto accidents during that period.
While the Independence Day holiday is certainly a time to enjoy friends, family and freedom, it should not come at the expense of safety. Just like any other time of the year, people have to act responsibly around the Fourth of July. Nobody gets a free pass on dangerous behavior, like drunk driving, just because it's a holiday weekend.
Law enforcement officers step up their efforts to catch drunk drivers during times like the Fourth of July. In addition to the possible criminal penalties, car accident victims may be able to bring legal claims against drunk drivers who cause accidents.
New Orleans and the Fourth of July are both synonymous with celebrations and good times, but people's safety always has to come first.
Source: NHTSA, "4th of July Drunk Driving Prevention Campaign," Accessed June 30, 2015