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Independence Day is perhaps one of the most enjoyable parts of summer. It is a time when we get together with friends and family. We host backyard barbeques. We watch beautiful sparkling explosions in the sky. What’s not to love?

However, this time of fun and celebrating our country’s independence comes at a high price for many. Statistics on drunk driving prove that it is one of the deadliest drinking holidays we celebrate. According to NHTSA, between June 30 and July 5, 2017, 601 people lost their lives. DUI statistics also show that approximately 39% of those people were killed because of people drunk driving.

This July 4th, we at Draeger hope you celebrate independence and freedom in the safest way possible. Here are some easy things you can do to ensure you have a blast safely this Fourth of July.

Offer Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Independence Day is one of those ever-popular drinking holidays. When you are hosting a barbeque, people may feel the urge to turn to a cold one to “cool off.” Instead of guests only turning to a cold beer, you should give them non-alcoholic drink options. This means you’ll need to plan and prep ways to stop drinking and driving among guests.

Have you considered serving guests a tall glass of iced tea or any other iced beverages? They are always good on a hot summer day. If you want something a little more exotic, bring on the flavor of the tropics! Your guests may not even realize it is alcohol-free.

You can provide guests with a delicious cocktail that does not need an alcohol kick. One such non-alcoholic drink is the Southern Breeze. It’s made from blue raspberry lemonade and frozen lemonade. If you want a little extra flavor or a taste that more closely resembles a cocktail, add pineapple juice, ginger ale, and fun little umbrellas in a tall glass.

If you provide guests with fruity flavors or “slushies,” they may be less likely to want to drink alcohol. For more Fourth of July drink possibilities, you can visit southernliving.com for a slideshow of ways to add non-alcoholic coolness to your summer celebration.

Add Sober Fun to Your Party

There are a lot of games that are ideal for providing fun without booze. If you have scrap lumber lying around, you can make a larger than life Jenga game. If you want something that doesn’t require cutting wood, you can make your lawn into a large twister board.

A game that is genuinely great for the Fourth is Glow in the Dark Bowling. It is listed as a kid’s game, but adults will have a blast playing it as well. You could even use larger bottles. All you have to do is add the ball and create a bowling lane.

You may also consider:

  • Badminton
  • Volleyball
  • DIY photo booth using picture frames
  • Balloon or egg toss

There are so many games that you can play to increase the fun and draw the focus away from holiday drinking.

Drink Safely and Avoid Drunk Driving

If you have a guest(s) who bring alcohol and do not want to stay sober, you should make a plan to ensure they don’t drink and drive ahead of time.

One excellent idea is to have everyone put their keys in a bowl when they walk in your home. This will allow you to help them make good choices. You can encourage people to spend the night if they drink alcohol. If they do not want to stay the night, make sure you have a designated driver available to ensure everyone gets home safely.

Make sure that you have the number to a ride-sharing program available. Often, around the holidays, there is a reduced or free ride waiting to help people get home safely.

Whether you or your guests have had one drink or several, it is never okay to get behind the wheel of any vehicle. If you break the law and risk safety, there will be consequences that will take away your freedom. Don’t risk it.

At Draeger, we are committed to making roads safer and providing reliable, discreet and easy to use ignition interlock devices for those who have been convicted of drunk driving. We hope everyone stays safe this upcoming holiday and encourage you not to become a drunk driving statistic.

*Links to any third-party websites herein are provided for your reference and convenience only. Dräger did not create nor develop, and does not own, any such third-party websites. Dräger does not endorse nor support the content of, nor any opinions stated in, any such third-party website links. Dräger is not responsible for the content of any third-party website or its accuracy or reliability. Nothing contained in this article or in any such third-party website shall be considered legal advice or be deemed to constitute legal advice. For any legal advice concerning a DUI arrest, charge, conviction or consequences thereof, you should contact an attorney of your choice.