Taking a Stand: Be Smart - New Year's Eve

Taking a Stand: Be Smart - New Year's Eve

"For many, New Year's Eve is a time to celebrate.  And that includes the consumption of alcohol.

The good news is that alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in the past ten years have declined by 27 percent.

The percentages who say they would be "extremely" or "very" likely to drive home while buzzed has decreased from 15% in 2005 to 8% in 2013.

Now, the bad news.

In 2011, 9,878 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes.  These fatalities accounted for 31 percent of the total traffic fatalities in the United States.

If you are going to drink alcohol on New Year's Eve, know that buzzed driving is impaired driving.

Don't be fooled and think you can drive safely after just a couple of drinks.

How many times have you heard from a friend after a couple of drinks, 'I'm fine, I'm fine.'

You're not fine!  Why take the chance?

Our local police will be looking for you and worst of all; you could kill yourself, your friends, or someone else.  I encourage you to:

1. Plan ahead and designate a sober driver before going out to a holiday party

2. Use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation

3. See a drunk driver on the road?  Don't hesitate, contact local law enforcement

4. If you know people who are about to drive or ride with someone who is impaired, take the driver's keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.

Traffic fatalities decreased from 2010 to 2011.  We need to keep going in that direction, because one drunken driving fatality is one too many.

From all of us at 14News, I wish you a happy and safe New Year."

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