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Don’t let friends drive drunk




To the Editor:

Now that the holiday season is here Americans across the country are revving up for travel and holiday activities. For some, however, the season won’t be free of cost or disaster.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in December 2007, 992 people were killed in crashes that involved a driver or motorcycle rider (operator) with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, which is above the legal limit in every state as well as the District of Columbia.

The human toll is only half the picture. If caught, violators will be subjected to arrest and will spend their money on bail, court, lawyers and towing fees instead of buying holiday presents for loved ones. That’s a miserable way to end the year.

Instead of spending the holidays in the morgue, a hospital bed or in a jail cell, drivers need to be responsible and take some simple precautions. Letcher County Commonwealth Attorney Edison G. Banks II recommends designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive drunk as just two of several simple steps to avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving. Other important tips include:

• Plan ahead: Whenever you expect to drink, designate your sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.

• If you’re impaired, call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.

• Use your community’s Sober Rides program.

• Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement.

• Wearing your seat belt or using protective gear on your motorcycle is your best defense against an impaired driver.

There is no excuse for impaired driving that will satisfy a police officer or a court. Do the right thing this holiday season and throughout the year. The next time you decide to put your pedal to the metal, think first. As the old cliché goes, the life you save just may be your own — Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.

For more information, visit www.StopImpairedDriving.org.
HON. EDISON G. BANKS II
Commonwealth Attorney
Whitesburg



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