Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

April 27, 2013

Play it safe

Students shown danger of drinking and driving

With prom and graduation season just around the corner, area teens got stark reminders last week about the dangers of drinking and driving when police staged automobile wrecks at Frankfort and Northern high schools.

The mock accidents are aimed at increasing teen awareness of bad things that can happen when someone drinks beer or alcohol and then drives.

The Frankfort event was headed up by Mineral County Sheriff’s Deputy Kam Jeffries, who is the school resource officer at Frankfort. A number of volunteer fire fighters and emergency medical personnel took time off from work to participate in the drill.

“They believe strongly that drinking and driving is a bad decision. These could be the consequences. This can happen any weekend, at any time,” Jeffries said, referring to the smashed in automobiles that were on display for the student body to see.

Many graduates attend parties to celebrate finishing school. More often than not, there is alcohol present. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism notes that research shows that parents can make a difference in keeping their son or daughter safe. Talking with a grad about alcohol  and the dangers of its abuse can avoid serious problems.

Besides the obvious peril of driving while impaired, there also has been an increase in alcohol poisoning incidents in recent years. Binge drinking has landed many young people in serious trouble — sometimes to the point of death.

The NIAA said teens should be aware of the risks involved with drinking and driving, especially remembering these points:

• People who are impaired by drinking usually find their inhibitions and memory are affected by drinking — so they may say and do things that they will regret and possibly will not remember doing at all.

• Decision-making skills also are affected. Drinkers may become restless and aggressive. They may be more at risk of having an alcohol-related traffic crash, get into fights, trash a house or make unwise decisions about sex.

Grads should have fun and savor prom and graduation night. But they also should play it safe and party right.

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