Happy News Year - please don't drink and drive

It’s a message repeated so frequently, we sometimes wonder if it should be added to the usual season’s tidings: merry Christmas, happy New Year, please don’t drink and drive.

Chances are that for most people reading this editorial, the message has sunk in — drink responsibly, have a designated driver, call a cab or stay the night. Don’t take a chance being pulled over, arrested, or worse, causing serious injury or death.

With New Year’s Eve fast approaching, there are bound to be plenty of revelers out to ring in 2013 throughout the holiday weekend. Chances are that someone with impaired judgement will try to get behind the wheel.

By this time, we should all know the potential consequences. The cost of a DUI conviction is exorbitant compared to a cab ride or a hotel room. And Alaska State Troopers and Kenai and Soldotna police are going to be on the lookout for impaired drivers through the holiday, meaning it’s more likely drinking and driving will lead to an arrest.

There’s the physical risk of driving while impaired — to the driver and anyone else on the road. Winter roads on the Kenai Peninsula already are treacherous enough without having to worry about other drivers.

Then there’s the emotional impact — particularly if someone is injured or killed in an alcohol-related accident. There are some scars that never heal.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying some holiday cheer, but please, do so responsibly. Designate a driver, call a cab or stay the night. If fellow revelers have a bit too much, do whatever it takes to keep them from getting behind a wheel.

Let’s all do what we can to make sure the new year starts on a happy note.

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