NEWORLEANS - Louisiana State Police worry that for some people, the July Fourth holiday will end in tragedy, and they said drunk driving will be the cause.
Troopers and other law enforcement agencies are skipping holiday time with their families in order to catch drunk drivers and get them off the road.
State police say statistics from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission show fatalities caused by drunk drivers more than tripled during last year's holiday over the previous two years.
Troopers are working with local law enforcement agencies to increase patrols.
Between July 3 and July 8, they'll not only be on the lookout for drunk drivers, but will conduct DWI checkpoints. For example, there is one planned for Wednesday night, at the end of the Independence Day festivities in the northern part of Lafourche Parish.
State police urge you to be extra careful whether taking a short trip or a long vacation during this period. Be aware of other vehicles on the road, plan a safe way home before the party begins, have a designated driver, take a taxi or call a sober friend.
Troopers also warn pedestrians walking along the sides of roadways to be vigilant, saying alcohol plays a role in half of the deaths involving pedestrians.
And for those planning to enjoy time on the water this week, don't drink and drive your boat.