BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – In Louisiana, operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol or other impairing substances remains a major cause of vehicle crashes, serious injuries, and fatalities. The spike in impaired driving typically increases as summer and holidays like the 4th of July near.

“That is probably because people are on vacation, students are on vacation, you have holidays like the fourth of July. We just had Memorial Day which is kid of the kick-off of summer, and we experienced 8 fatalities over the weekend,” said Gregory Fischer.

Fischer is the Public Information Officer for the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission. He says they’re working on summer initiatives that crack down on drunk driving.

In 2020, more than 40 percent of motor vehicle crashes in Louisiana were alcohol-related, resulting in more than 300 fatalities.

“Here at the highway safety commission, we don’t call them accidents, we call them crashes, because we believe they are preventable,” said Fischer.

This summer, officials are saying drivers can stay safe with just a change of behavior. 

“We need driver responsibility; people need to understand that it is up to them to be safe for themselves and others on the road. You can also use any of our travel apps like Wayz or Google maps,” said Rodney Mallet, Communications Director for DOTD.

Drivers are also advised to use apps like Lyft and Uber. Additionally, everyone is urged to remember the slogan, “if you see something, say something.” One bad decision could change your life forever, or even end it.