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Please drive safely during the holidays

December 24, 2010

Area law enforcement officers have a message for would-be partygoers as we close 2010 and welcome in 2011: Don't drink and drive. Anyone who has been drinking and takes the chance of getting behind the wheel runs a better than usual chance of getting stopped because extra law officers will be on the street.

That’s going to be true across the state, as police departments, sheriff's offices and the Department of Public Safety are taking advantage of grant money to pay overtime for peace officers to be on patrol.

As local law enforcement officials have always noted at New Year's, they have a “zero tolerance” policy for both those who drink and drive and those who are not wearing seat belts.

But we’re not asking that you don’t drink and drive so that you won’t wind up in jail. No, there’s a lot more to it than that.

We all enjoy celebrations and the end of a year has always been an acceptable cause to celebrate. But it’s not reason enough to endanger lives, and that’s the point. If your driving is impaired, the chances of your having an accident are greater — that’s a fact. While you may be able to keep a vehicle “between the lines” so to speak, your ability to react to sudden changes is diminished. Your defensive driving skills aren’t what they should be.

It’s not worth it. It’s not worth the embarrassment; it’s not worth the fine and jail time; it’s not worth a chance having it on your record; it’s not worth the chance of endangering your life, the lives of those with you or the lives of other motorists or pedestrians.

If you are planning on drinking and being out, appoint a designated driver.

Make sure you are around to celebrate again next year.

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