Holidays often lead to an increase in drinking and driving, and in order to combat dangerous drivers, Oklahoma law enforcement agencies often set up DUI checkpoints and increase patrols. Although these checkpoints are designed to get intoxicated drivers off the road, most arrests from sobriety checkpoints are actually on non-alcohol related complaints. However, many people do celebrate holidays by drinking, and the Fourth of July is no exception. Barbecues, picnics, and hot days often lend themselves to a cold beer, and people who plan to drink should find alternate transportation, not only to spare themselves a DUI arrest, but also to save themselves from a dangerous or potentially fatal accident. Sobriety checkpoints are not only set up on holidays, but frequently, police are on high alert the weekend before a holiday. In Oklahoma City this weekend, police set up a DUI roadblock at 300 North Meridian. The checkpoint, which lasted from Saturday evening until early Sunday morning, resulted in 15 warnings, 81 citations, and 17 arrests. Of the 17 arrests, only 6 were for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The remaining 11 included arrests for outstanding warrants, drug possession, and assault of a police officer. The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office publishes annual crash data that details specific statistics about traffic accidents across the state. In addition to providing statistics about the number of traffic accidents, the number of fatal accidents, and the number of alcohol-related accidents in Oklahoma each year, the OHSO crash data includes crashes by county, city, time of day, time of year, type of vehicle, and other detailed information. It also publishes annual Fact Sheets about specific traffic accident facts. This includes statistics about holiday accidents. According to the OHSO Independence Holiday 2012 Fact Sheet, there were four traffic fatalities from the 30-hour time period beginning at 6:00 p.m. on July 3, 2012 and ending July 4, 2012. Of those four fatalities, none were alcohol-related. That was a significant decline from 2010, in which there were 10 fatalities, including 4 alcohol-related crash fatalities. [caption id="attachment_2213" align="aligncenter" width="475"] Image Credit: Oklahoma Highway Safety Office[/caption] Alcohol-related fatalities on Independence Day in Oklahoma have decreased over the last four years, from 6 fatalities in 2008 to no DUI fatalities the last two years. If drivers choose not to drink, and drinkers choose not to drive, that trend will continue into 2013. Remember, it is easy to get caught up in the moment and have a drink or two more than you intended. It is easy to think that, despite what you have had to drink, you are "okay to drive." The best solution is to plan ahead and designate a driver or to enjoy the fireworks from your own yard. The attorneys with Phillips and Associates encourage you to have a safe and happy Independence Day.