Why mar the holidays with carelessness?

Posted: Sunday, December 19, 2010

If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times: Don't drink and drive.

The admonition is worth repeating during the holidays, when alcohol tends to be a part of our celebrations.

Our hope is that everyone who imbibes during the festivities that go from now through the New Year will resolve not to drink and drive. Not this year. Not next year. Not ever again.

It's just not worth the risk.

Unfortunately, many people live under the delusion that it's OK for them to drink and drive. They wrongly believe that their judgment isn't impaired when they drink -- at least not enough to cause an accident or call attention to themselves. Or, they believe they live under some magic star that won't allow them to get into trouble. Some reason they know the roads too well to get into trouble; after all, home is just a short drive away.

Drunk drivers not only put themselves in danger, they also put the lives of all those on the road with them at risk.

Drinking and driving also can put a big dent in one's bank account -- even if one is fortunate enough to escape being in an accident. Legal fees, fines, higher insurance rates and missed work are just a few of the ways the bar tab increases to astronomical proportions when one is arrested for drunk driving.

If you drink this holiday season, then give yourself and the rest of the community one of the following gifts: a nondrinking designated driver, cab fare home or a hotel room or other safe place to stay that will keep you off the road.

If you are hosting a party where alcohol will be served, be prepared to arrange for a ride home for your guests or invite them to spend the night. Also, plan activities so that the focus isn't just on drinking.

There's no reason for anyone to ruin everyone's holiday celebration by drinking and driving. An arrest -- or worse -- caused by driving while drunk is no way to start the new year.

In short: Thinking safety during this holiday season will keep it merry.

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