MDOT urges independence from drunk driving this Fourth of July

Published 1:01 pm Monday, July 3, 2023

As Independence Day approaches, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) urges holiday travelers to prioritize safety and make responsible choices by NOT drinking and driving.

Family, friends, food and fireworks come to mind when thinking of Independence Day. And yet, all too often, the festivities turn tragic on our nation’s roads. Independence Day has long had the reputation of one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to drunk driving-related crashes. According the United States Department of Transportation, 538 people died in motor vehicle crashes during the July 4th holiday period in 2021. Of those fatalities, 39% occurred in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.

“Independence Day is a time for friends and family to commemorate the birth of our nation, and it is essential that we all take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday,” said Brad White, MDOT Executive Director. “Drinking and driving not only endangers the lives of those behind the wheel, but also jeopardizes the safety of passengers, pedestrians and other motorists on the road. Show your love for your county by keeping it safe and not letting anyone, including yourself, drive impaired.”

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To enjoy a safe and responsible holiday, MDOT suggests the following:

  • Plan ahead and designate a sober driver before drinking.
  • If you are impaired, call a taxi, transportation service, sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to call local law enforcement.
  • If you see someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to arrive home safely.

To provide maximum travel capacity and minimal construction delays to motorists traveling throughout the state, MDOT crews and contractors will halt all non-emergency road work July 3-4, 2023. While most construction work will halt, motorists should be aware that some lane closures will remain in place. These lane closures are there to protect the traveling public; motorists are advised to treat them as an active work zone.

“MDOT wants to make travel as safe and convenient as possible for the public on Independence Day,” said White. “Do your part by buckling up, staying alert in work zones and not driving distracted or impaired.”

MDOT also offers free travel resources – the MDOT Traffic app and– to help make holiday travel easier. These travel resources also show the locations of rest areas and welcome centers in Mississippi.

Stay independent from drunk driving thisGet more safe travel tips at For additional summer travel tips or other travel related information, like and follow @MississippiDOT on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.