(KFVS) - Starting today people will be hitting the highways and taking to the skies in droves with millions of Americans set to fire up the grill, kick back and take in some fireworks for the Fourth of July holiday.
But as the nation prepares to celebrate its independence, emergency officials are beefing up security.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says officials are focusing on public events and public places, as well as airports across the nation.
AAA projects a record number of people traveling this holiday weekend, with nearly 43 million people going somewhere 50 miles or more from home
3.3 million people will fly and most airports are adding security measures to keep travelers safe. For example, at J-F-K in New York, officials say there will be "high visibility patrols equipped with tactical weapons and equipment
Despite the stepped up security at events all over the country, officials say public awareness is crucial.
Homeland Security wants people to travel, and to celebrate Independence Day, but be aware and be vigilant.
Along with the heightened security, police all over the Heartland will be out in full force as part of the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" crackdown this weekend, looking for impaired drivers starting today through July 5th.
This may sound familiar, because Missouri State Highway Patrol, Illinois State Police, Kentucky State Police and local county and city law enforcement up their efforts to find and arrest drunk or drugged drivers every year, but they say it's still important.
Latest statistics from the National Transportation Safety Board show about a third of all deadly crashes involve one or more impaired drivers.
And with alcohol likely playing a part in many people's holiday weekend plans, that means the chances of more impaired drivers on the road are higher.
Officers will be looking for drivers:
- Making wide turns, or turning abruptly or illegally
- Weaving, swerving, drifting or straddling the center line
- Stopping for no reason
- Breaking erratically
- Responding slowly to traffic signals
- Driving after dark with their headlights off
So, what should you do?
Make plans to have a designated driver, or use another means of transportation like calling a cab.
If you're hosting a party where alcohol is served…be responsible:
- Serve non-alcoholic drinks and food
- Stop serving alcohol well before the party ends
- Arrange for alternate transportation
- Take the keys of a friend you may think may have had too much to drink