We are only about a week away from the holiday that marks the unofficial end of summer. Most Hoosiers will be enjoying a three-day weekend spent largely outdoors with family and friends. There will be barbecues, games and other (socially distanced) activities. And for many in Indiana, a holiday celebration isn’t complete without enjoying some beers or other alcoholic beverages.

If you’ll be celebrating or otherwise traveling over Labor Day Weekend, please keep traffic safety in mind. Labor Day Weekend is notorious for a spike in drunk driving and related car accidents. You never want to be a victim of someone else’s bad decisions.

Each year in the United States, an average of about 10,000 people lose their lives in alcohol-related crashes. And Indiana is no exception to this troubling trend. In 2018, there were nearly 4,000 drunk driving crashes statewide, which resulted in 83 fatalities. Over Labor Day Weekend that year, there were 48 alcohol-related car accidents and one fatality.

To combat the rise in drunk driving, law enforcement throughout Indiana have already increased DUI patrols. Aided by federal funds, state and local officers are participating in the national campaign known as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” Their goal is to catch as many impaired drivers during this period as possible, ultimately reducing crashes, injuries and deaths.

As you celebrate or simply drive around over the holiday weekend, please be mindful of the risks that you are likely to face on the roads. If you can avoid driving in the evenings (or minimize driving generally), you will likely be taking yourself and your loved ones out of harm’s way.

And if you have already been seriously injured in a crash caused by a drunk driver, please know that you have legal options in addition to pursuing criminal charges. You can seek full and fair compensation in a civil lawsuit with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.