If you booze, and try to cruise – you lose.

That’s a common message from the North Carolina Department of Transportation around the Fourth of July holiday, and this year is no different.

“Booze It & Lose It: Operation Firecracker” is in effect through July 6, and law enforcement officers will be on high alert for those who may be a little too high and not-so-alert.

It’s no laughing matter, though. In 2013, there were 353 alcohol-related fatalities in North Carolina.

In order to keep our roadways safe, the NCDOT and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program remind you to always plan a safe way home before you start drinking.

You can designate a sober driver, or call a taxi. And please report any suspected drunk drivers on the road to local law enforcement.

If you know anyone who is about to drive while impaired, please take their keys and help them find a safe ride home.