OHP Beefing Up Patrols for 4th of July Weekend

It is no secret that the 4th of July is one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year, but if you plan to get behind the wheel after doing so, Oklahoma Highway Patrol says, you may want to think again.

As you hit the roads for your 4th of July festivities, OHP wants to make it very clear -- They are watching you. The troopers are beefing up patrols tonight and throughout the weekend.

"We've chosen Friday as one of the high points because that's the time everyone gets off -- finishes their work week and starts to drink and hit the drinking establishments. And, unfortunately, they drive." Lt. George Brown says they will be on the lookout for driving under the influence, speeding, and aggressive driving.

With four DUI-related deaths this time last year in Oklahoma, the department is hoping to avoid that, this year. That means an increased presence around the area and DUI checkpoints, starting Thursday night around 11:30.

The concentration of bars downtown leads to a heavy focus on certain areas. "The Inter-dispersal Loop is one area where we always have crashes and many times, those are alcohol related," Brown said.

He says they will be looking for specific driving behaviors, stopping anyone they suspect of DUI.

"Simply put -- If you want to go out and you want to get drunk and you want to drive on Tulsa area roadways, throughout this weekend, you're going to get stopped and you're going to get put in jail. Plain and simple," said Brown.

One of the checkpoints will be located downtown on Highway 75 at the 7th Street exit.

If you suspect someone of driving under the influence of alcohol, you are asked to call Oklahoma Highway Patrol or local police.