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Don’t Let Holiday Celebrations End in Tragedy

Many say the holidays are the “most wonderful time of year”-- filled with celebrations, time with friends and family, and good cheer.

But all too often, drivers get wrapped up in the excitement of the holidays and forget how dangerous holidays can be if people don’t put the party behind them whenever they get behind the wheel.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 760 people died as a result of drunk-driving-related traffic crashes during December 2011.

In fact, 29 percent of fatalities during the month of December 2007 to 2011 occurred in crashes that involved drivers with blood alcohol concentrations of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.

That’s why the Pageland Rescue Squad is taking the opportunity this December to remind people that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving and to never get behind the wheel after drinking.

No matter how many drinks you’ve had, drinking and driving creates an extreme risk to your safety and the safety of others on the road around you.

So don’t make a poor decision and be the cause of your family’s or someone else’s family’s tragedy this holiday season. Whether you’ve had one or one too many, hand the keys to a sober driver.

Take steps to ensure your holiday celebrations don’t end in tragedy.

  • Designate a sober driver before the celebrations begin; plan a way to get home safely at the end of the night.
  • If you are impaired, call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
  • Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life, and inaction could cost a life.

Nationwide in 2011, 32,367 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, and 31 percent (9,878) of those fatalities occurred in drunk-driving-related crashes.

Please don’t create the next statistic. The best way to ensure your safety is to be responsible and plan ahead. If you are going to drink, designate a sober driver before the party starts, and encourage your friends and family to always do the same.