Police officers, sheriff's deputies and firefighters are sending out reminders and advice for residents so we can all have a happy and safe Independence Day weekend.

The Caddo Sheriff's Office warns motorists that drunk driving won't be tolerated.

"If you're over the limit and you drive, you're under arrest," said Sheriff Steve Prator.

Extra deputies will be out on patrols in Caddo Parish from July 2-6. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, roughly 40% of all motor vehicle fatalities during the past five years happened during Independence Day weekend. The sheriff urges citizens to be safe.

"Don't put yourself or others at risk. Plan ahead," Prator said. "Designate a sober driver in advance. Call a friend or call a cab."

Shreveport and Bossier City Police Departments will also have additional officers looking out for impaired drivers. SPD also reminds you that you should never fire guns into the air in celebration of the birth of our nation. What goes up must come down. You never know if that bullet will end up hitting something or someone and cause serious wounds or death.

Police say the most serious traffic crashes are caused by one of three things: speeding, driving while distracted and driving while impaired. And when you add an unrestrained occupant to the equation, the results can be deadly. Make sure you're wearing your seatbelt.

If discharging fireworks is part of your July 4 celebrating, keep in mind that you can't shoot those off after 10 each night through July 5 in Shreveport or Bossier City.

Here are some safety tips from the Shreveport Fire Department:

  • NEVER discharge fireworks indoors
  • NEVER allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks
  • ALWAYS have adult supervision
  • NEVER mix alcohol and fireworks use
  • ALWAYS have water handy (a garden hose or bucket)
  • NEVER pick up or try to re-ignite a Dud
  • ALWAYS light fireworks one at a time
  • NEVER ignite fireworks in any container
  • NEVER hold a firework in your hand to ignite it
  • NEVER place an ignited firework on any part of your body
  • NEVER point or throw fireworks at another person
  • ALWAYS obey local laws
  • If possible, attend a public firework display at the Shreveport Independence Day Festival

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