Staying safe this Fourth of July holiday

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(ABC 6 NEWS) – The Fourth Of July Holiday is coming up and many people are going to be hitting the road this weekend to be with friends and family.

As for every major holiday, the Minnesota and Iowa State Patrols want you to pay attention when you’re driving and keep tabs on others to make sure everyone gets to where they need to be safely.

Trooper Tom Williams with the Iowa State Patrol talked to ABC 6 NEWS about the nationwide effort Iowa enforces “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign.”

It aims to educate people on the dangers and consequences of driving drunk.

They say one person is killed about every 45 minutes in a drunk driving crash, totaling more than 11,000 lives lost each year.

Trooper Williams says in 2022, 57 percent of fatalities in the Hawkeye state were alcohol related.

“I just ask people be patient, reduce your speed, leave earlier on your longer trips,” Trooper Williams said.

In Minnesota, Lieutenant Gordon Shank with the Minnesota State Patrol echoes the same message as his friend Trooper Williams.

He says you can expect extra enforcement throughout the state as we are in the 100 deadliest days of Summer.

Lieutenant Shank says last year the number of fatal crashes that were alcohol related over the July Fourth Holiday was 36 percent.

Every year they try to get that percent lower and lower.

“It’s ultimately a team effort and what I mean by that is we need people to speak up. If you see someone that looks like an impaired driver on the road, call 911, if you see someone trying to leave somewhere and you think they’re impaired, don’t let them drive. Take their keys, do whatever you need to do to make sure they don’t get behind the wheel. Also speak up if you’re a passenger and you’re not comfortable with someone’s driving behavior and you think they’re impaired, speak up,” Lieutenant Shank said.