Independence Day

This week is the Fourth of July, the 241st anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It is a day to reflect on our country’s origins and the its philosophical underpinnings: liberty, equality, the American dream. It is a holiday that unites us a country: no matter who we are or where we come from, we can come together as Americans and celebrate what our country means to us.

It’s also an excuse to break out the fireworks and fire up our grills, which is also an American tradition. And this year, the Fourth falls on a Tuesday, which means Independence Day weekend can hit a whopping five days long if you really try, so the party can theoretically go non-stop from Friday night to the break of Wednesday morning. I’m going to sound like an old fogey, though, and say: don’t do that.

Because in addition to being a time to celebrate America, Independence Day weekend is is one of the deadliest holidays of the year, especially when it comes to drunk driving. Between 6 p.m. July 2 and 5:59 a.m. July 6, 2015, 146 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents where at least one driver had a BAC of .08 or higher. That amounts to a death every 34 minutes. So please, stay safe out there, and if you aren’t good to drive go ahead and call a Metro Taxi to take you home. There’s even an app for that, if you don’t want to actually call, so go ahead and download it beforehand. Driving drunk isn’t worth the risk.