What are your plans for this year’s Fourth of July celebration? If they include driving, beware of intoxicated drivers on the roads in and around Houston.

Two years ago, as the nation celebrated its birthday, 188 individuals died in collisions where one or more drivers was legally intoxicated and had blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) of at least .08.

In Texas alone, more than a dozen people were killed over the Fourth of July holiday. Family members of those 14 victims will never again get to watch the fireworks light up the night skies with their loved ones.

To reduce the likelihood of Fourth of July drunk driving deaths in 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and others are partnering to send the message to Texans that “Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.”

Too many motorists believe the myth that if they only feel a little “tipsy” and aren’t falling down drunk, it’s okay to drive. It’s not, and the poor decisions these “buzzed” drivers make could have a potentially tragic impact on you and your loved ones.

There are a few reasons why the Fourth of July has proven to be so lethal. Often the festivities begin early in the day, with barbecues, swim parties and other typical summer activities accompanied by the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Many celebrations don’t conclude until the last of the fireworks has faded from the night sky. That means the streets and highways are then clogged late in the evening not just with families leaving the displays but also with drivers who may have been drinking since before noon.

Drivers involved in deadly accidents at night typically have much higher BACs than those involved in daytime collisions. Over the Fourth of July extended weekend in 2016, the rate of intoxicated drivers involved in fatal wrecks was over three times higher than in those accidents occurring during daylight hours.

Remember, if your family member is killed by an intoxicated driver, you have the right to pursue compensation — regardless of the outcome of any criminal charges.