Law enforcement cracking down on 4th of July drunk driving
BATON ROUGE - Each year July 4th is a time to spend with family and friends, but Louisiana law enforcement say it's also one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to impaired driving.
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission says 2012 through 2016, 37 people died on Louisiana roads during the July 4th holiday period, and 30 of those deaths involved a driver who had been drinking.
Losing loved ones in a drunk driving incident is one Marcus Gaines wishes he never had to go through. Six of his family members were killed by a drunk driver in May 2012.
"I lost several members of my family," said Gaines. "I would hate for anyone to go through what I went through."
Brett Gerald crashed his truck head-on into a car of seven people headed home from church. Gerald's blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit at the time of the crash.
"There's so much pain when you lose someone over any kind of death, especially drinking and driving, that's something that's preventable," said Gaines.
It's why law enforcement agencies will be clearing the roads this holiday week so it's safe to drive. Louisiana State Police Troopers and officers will be working to remove impaired drivers from roadways through patrol efforts and DWI checkpoints. They will also be making sure everyone is properly restrained in their vehicles, and that aggressive drivers are found and cited.
In the month of June, LSP says it investigated over 30 fatal crashes across the state, impaired driving and lack of seat belts were common factors, making crashes preventable.