Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

December 27, 2012

Be smart

Don’t drive drunk on New Year’s Eve or any time

It’s never a good idea to drive while under the influence or to drive aggressively, and it is an especially bad idea to do so during the holidays.

Police are increasingly concentrating on enforcement of laws against drunken and aggressive drivers, and they always have extra patrols on duty New Year’s Eve.

First-time drunken drivers not involved in accidents can expect several hundred dollars in fines, probation, attorney fees, court appearances, higher insurance rates and possible job loss.

If you host a party, be sure your guests remain in a condition that will allow them to get home safely. You could be liable if one of them has an accident while under the influence from alcohol served at your party.

Encourage your guests to have designated drivers, make non-alcoholic beverages available and serve food. It’s a good idea to stop serving alcohol entirely as the evening winds down.

Only time can eliminate alcohol from your bloodstream — black coffee won’t do it.

Statistics indicate that fatalities relating to impaired driving are higher during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays than at other times. At least one driver is intoxicated in nearly half of all fatal accidents that take place during the New Year’s holiday.

Not only is drunken driving illegal, you or someone else — maybe someone you love — could be seriously injured or killed. That’s no way to start the New Year.

The best way to drive is to drive sober. Watch out for other drivers who aren’t and don’t be afraid to report them to police. You might be saving their lives.

Be safe, and have a Happy New Year.

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