A little holiday cheer can sometimes unfortunately go a long way. Remember, Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.
• The holidays are a time to eat, drink and be merry, but when drivers fail to be responsible, those few glasses of eggnog can quickly turn one of the happiest times of the year into a nightmare. Too often impaired drivers don’t plan ahead and end-up making the roads unsafe for everyone.
• That is why this holiday season Van Buren County SAFE Coalition is reminding all drivers to keep the party off the road. Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.
• The holidays are particularly deadly due to the high number of drunk drivers on the roads. During the month of December 2009, 753 people were killed in crashes that involved a driver or motorcycle rider (operator) with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
• Another eight percent of the population also admitted to riding in a vehicle with a driver who they believe had had too much to drink. Young males were at particularly high risk, with nearly one-quarter admitting to riding with someone who should not have been behind the wheel.
• While many people have gotten the message loud and clear, there are still millions that just don’t understand that alcohol and driving are a deadly combination!
No matter who you are, drunk driving has serious consequences.
• Not only do you risk killing or injuring yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be significant.
• Drunk driving violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work.
• Don’t let your 2010 end with an arrest…or worse, death. Plan before you go out, and remember, whether you’ve had way too many or just one too many it’s just not worth the risk.
Impaired drivers who fail to plan ahead, take the holiday spirit right out of this happy time. Here are a few simple tips to avoid a drunk driving disaster:
• Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
• Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
• If you’re impaired, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely;
• If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement;
• And remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
More information can be found on www.StopImpairedDriving.org or by contacting the SAFE Coalition at www.vbsafecoalition.com or 319-293-6412.