Police warn drivers to celebrate responsibly on July 4 weekend - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Police warn drivers to celebrate responsibly on July 4 weekend

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Fourth of July holiday is filled with fun and fireworks, but it can also be a deadly time of year.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 164 people in the U.S. were killed in drunk driving crashes in2014.

That statistic, along with others, is why patrols will be boosted on the roadways.

“Our primary focus is we don't want to see anybody hurt, and we certainly don't want to see anybody killed,” said Sgt. Philip Hensley with Indiana State Police.

Sgt. Hensley said up to 200 extra troopers will be on patrol through July 4. Kentucky drivers can also expect to see an increased presence.

“We're going to be looking for you, so you better be driving with some common sense and be driving sober. That's what we want,” Sgt. Hensley said.

Last year over the July 4 holiday, there were 64 alcohol-related crashes in Indiana and 77 in Kentucky. Of those crashes 43 people were hurt and two were killed in Indiana. Kentucky also saw 43 injuries, and nine people were killed.

That's why some people are choosing to stay home.

“I don't like being out fighting traffic and being in crowded places,” Marie Hartfield said. “And people, you know, they drive crazy sometimes ... I'm not comfortable in all that traffic.”

If you have to be on the road, and you see a distracted driver, Sgt. Hensley has this advice.

“Give a little distance, and then call 911,” he said.

You should give the dispatcher the name of the road, the direction you’re driving, as well as a description of the vehicle and what it's doing. A simple phone call could save someone’s life from a drunk driver.

“It's a shame, to be hones,t because you would think after you hear and see so many tragedies, that at some point -- wake up!,” Sgt. Hensley said.

Before leaving home to celebrate the holiday, law enforcement officials said you should have a plan on how to get home safely, whether that's a designated driver or calling a cab.

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