Fourth of July road safety

By Alyssa Donovan

July 3, 2013 Updated Jul 3, 2013 at 11:26 AM CDT

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, July 4 is now the deadliest day on the road for Americans.

Local and State law enforcement officials are hoping to change that this year.

Patrols have already started for the holiday and will continue into the weekend.

"We're going to be doing roadside safety checks and saturation patrols looking for drivers out there making the poor choice and choosing to drive impaired," said Illinois State Trooper Dustin Pierce.

If you are plan on consuming alcohol, make sure to have a designated driver.

Trooper Pierce says police have really been cracking down on DUI arrests this year.

"We're about 48 arrests ahead of where we were last year at this time in DUI's," he said.

State Police are not the only agency preparing to watch the roads on the Fourth of July.

"We'll be assigning extra patrol to watch the highways," said Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy. "We don't want people driving intoxicated and doing crazy things on the highway. We just want people to enjoy themselves and be safe."

If safety is not enough to keep you from drinking and driving, you may want to consider your wallet. A DUI costs roughly $19,000.

Sheriff McCoy says drinking and driving is not their only concern with this holiday.

"We've had a couple of instances in the past of people throwing fireworks out of cars and things like that and we are not going to tolerate any of that crazy behavior and if people do that than they are going to have to deal with us on them," said McCoy.

"One person making a poor decision and going out and choosing to drive after they've been drinking can cause a dramatic life change for many people," said Pierce.

So this Fourth of July plan ahead and play it safe.

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