OUR VIEW: Do not drink and drive this New Year’s Eve

Published 9:30 am Friday, December 30, 2022

President Joe Biden signed a proclamation naming the month of December National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. 

A White House statement in late November said the following:  “Over 10,000 American lives are lost to drunk and drug-impaired driving each year, accounting for nearly a third of all traffic deaths.  In 2019, some 11 percent of Americans drove under the influence, including a staggering 19.6 percent of people aged 21-25 — and that number has only grown since the COVID-19 pandemic began.”

You’ve heard it before: in driver’s ed, from law enforcement, on billboards and in commercials. But it never stops being important. Don’t drive a vehicle if you’ve been drinking or taking drugs.

We know that New Year’s Eve is a big day for drinking. Many will count down the end of 2022 in bars and then will need to find a way home. 

Do not drink and drive. Find a ride. Make a plan beforehand. Have a designated driver.

Or, before you get to the point of being drunk, moderate your intake. Don’t drink on an empty stomach, drink water alongside your alcohol and skip the liquor and spirits for something less strong. Limit yourself to a drink or two and give yourself a few hours to sober up.

When you drive to and from work, the store and school on a daily basis, it’s easy to forget how dangerous driving is. Driving a car that weighs thousands of pounds at high speed becomes routine. But it’s important to remember the risks, especially when you’re impaired.

Holidays are particularly dangerous, with more people traveling and celebrating with alcohol. Stay off the road altogether if you can.

Remember that driving distracted or when sleep-deprived is also dangerous.

Many of us have been in situations where we realized nobody in our group should be driving. When that happens, consider alternatives. Taking a risk could result in injury, death, losing your job and going to prison.