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Over the past five years in Oregon, 38 people have died in crashes over the Fourth of July holiday – and 23 of those deaths were from crashes involving alcohol.

It’s a tragic way to mark the country’s independence, and perhaps the saddest part is that it doesn’t have to happen. If you get behind the wheel of a car when you are impaired – whether by alcohol, marijuana, prescriptions or illegal drugs – you are making a choice that could end someone’s life, including your own.

Don’t do it.

Instead, consider these tips from safety advocates:

- Get a ride. With all kinds of ride-sharing options, get one or more apps on your phone or program in some alternatives so you can easily get a ride. Going to an event? Check out our new, online ride-sharing service, Get There, to arrange safe, sober travels.

- Hosting a party? Offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages and lots of snacks. Remove the alcoholic beverages several hours before the gathering end-time.

- If someone has been drinking and is about to drive, take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

A crash is no accident. Make a smart choice and celebrate safely.

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