East Texans will be celebrating with friends and family at Fourth of July festivals and parties, and quite a few of them will involve alcohol as we celebrate our nation's independence.

Beginning today, the Texas Department of Public Safety is increasing DWI patrols throughout the holiday weekend.

Last year during the stepped up enforcement period, more that 1,000 arrests were made by Texas DPS officers for intoxicated drivers. The agency attributes a lot of those arrests to their campaign and heightened awareness of drinking while driving and driving under the influence.

Texas DPS Director Steven McCraw says:

"As Texans make their plans for the Fourth of July, DPS is urging everyone to enjoy the holiday responsibly. Driving while impaired can have deadly consequences, so Texans who plan to drink alcohol should always designate a sober driver or choose alternate forms of transportation. During the holiday, DPS troopers will be increasing patrols to help keep travelers safe and take dangerous drivers off the road."

As long as you drink responsibly and have a designated driver, everything will be great. It's when you drink and drive there's a problem.

According to a DPS press release, more than 1,000 people in Texas were killed in motor vehicle crashes last year involving alcohol or a driver who was under the influence.

Designate a driver and have a safe and happy Fourth of July.