Independence Day is just around the corner. As a day involving fireworks, freedom, barbeques, and beer, there is a lot of fun to be had. However, with great fun comes great responsibility; approximately 40% of all highway deaths between 2007 and 2011 were caused by drunk driving over the Fourth of July weekend. Rather than take the risk and put your life (or someone else’s) on the line by getting behind the wheel drunk, follow these four tips to stay safe and sober on our nation’s birthday.

  • Don’t drink and light. Many states legal allow fireworks and encourage people to light up on the Fourth of July. However, alcohol and pyrotechnics don’t mix; if you’re going to set off a few sparklers and roman candles, make sure you either do it before you start drinking or ensure that the person in charge is sober.
  • Pace yourself. Independence Day is an alcohol-fueled holiday. Last year, approximately 68 million cases of beer were purchased. If you’re going to start drinking early in the day (which many people do), it’s important that you pace yourself; set a limit to the number of drinks you’ll consume and alternate with non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Figure out how you’re getting home ahead of time. The best way to prevent yourself from driving drunk is to make arrangements to get home far in advance. Find a designated driver, program a cab company’s number into your phone, sign up for Uber or Lyft, and make plans to spend the night.
  • Don’t boat drunk. Many people like to celebrate our nation’s independence on the water. According to the CDC, nearly one-third of boating deaths are tied to alcohol; most states have similar BAC limits for driving a boat and driving a car, so boat operators should hold off on the drinks until they’re back on dry land.

Driving drunk simply isn’t worth it. If you get pulled over, you’ll be facing the costs of Driving While Intoxicated and the pressure to find DWI lawyers willing to take your case; if you get in an accident with another person, you’ll end up needing a defense attorney. The costs — both physically and financially — are too high to risk. Do the smart thing this Independence Day; don’t drive drunk and you’ll never need a DWI lawyer.