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MDOT urges independence from drunk driving this holiday

Amidst the parties and fireworks, one can easily get caught up in Independence Day festivities, but the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) reminds holiday travelers to not let the celebrations distract them from safety.

Independence Day has already earned the infamous reputation of being one of the most travelled and most dangerous times of the year, so with an additional increase in travelers this year, combined with more celebrating, the risk of drunk drivers escalates. From 2015 to 2019, there were 1,339 drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes over the Fourth of July holiday weekends.

“July Fourth is the time to display not only patriotism but also safety and responsibility,” said MDOT Executive Director Brad White. “Show your love for your county by keeping it safe and not letting anyone, including yourself, drive impaired.”

To enjoy a safe and responsible holiday weekend, MDOT suggests the following:

  • Plan ahead and designate a sober driver before drinking.
  • If you are impaired, call a taxi, sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to call local law enforcement.
  • If you see someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to arrive home safely.

To provide maximum travel capacity and minimal construction delays to motorists traveling throughout the state, MDOT crews and contractors will halt road construction over the holiday weekend. While construction work will halt, motorists should be aware that some lane closures will remain in place. These lane closures are there to protect the traveling public;

“MDOT wants to make travel as safe and convenient as possible for the public throughout this holiday weekend,” said White. “Do your part by buckling up, staying alert in work zones and not driving distracted or impaired.”

MDOT also offers free travel resources – MDOTtraffic.com and the MDOT Traffic app – to help make your holiday travel easier. These free travel resources provide an opportunity for Mississippians to know before they go. MDOTtraffic.com not only gives you the most current travel and traffic conditions, but also shows the locations of rest areas and welcome centers in Mississippi.

The MDOT Traffic app is available free on the App Store and Google Play store, and serves as a companion to MDOTtraffic.com. The app also offers access to real-time traffic information and cameras across the state and will synchronize with your account on MDOTtraffic.com. This is a perfect tool to use at rest areas while traveling.

Stay independent from drunk driving this Fourth of July. Never let yourself or a friend drive impaired. Get more safe travel tips at GoMDOT.com/drivesmartms. For additional summer travel tips or other travel related information, like and follow @MississippiDOT on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.