New Year's parties are about to get under way, and it is a good time to again remember not to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking at one of those parties.
There is no excuse for getting behind the wheel any day of the year while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Police agencies pound the message home this time of the year about drinking and driving.
The Ohio Department of Public Safety reported there were 24,526 intoxicated driving arrests by the Ohio State Highway Patrol in 2012. Troopers so far this year have made more than 23,000 drunk driving arrests. There were 273 OVI arrests alone in Jefferson County in 2012. Also last year, alcohol-impaired drivers were involved in nearly 42 percent of all fatalities across Ohio.
December 2012 had the highest number of alcohol-related crashes in a per-month break down, the Ohio Department of Public Safety reported.
Law enforcement will be out in full force to catch those drivers who ignore the message of drinking and driving during the New Year's holiday period.
Many people play it smart on New Year's Eve. They attend a party at a friend's house with plans to sleep there for the night. Other couples may go to a lavish dinner/dance at a hotel and book a room for the night. Then there are others that actually practice having a designated driver or even renting a limousine.
Many people believe it is dangerous to even be on the roads on New Year's Eve because of the drinking. They don't want to be a statistic.
There may be a lot of alcohol consumed on New Year's Eve but there also is a lot consumed any weekend of the year. People leave bars and get behind the wheel without thinking twice. Why think about it on New Year's Eve and not the other days of the year?
Alcohol impairs the ability to drive. It slows reaction time and also causes a driver to cross the center line. There are serious or fatal accidents every weekend in Ohio and West Virginia involving alcohol. Innocent family members have been killed because someone behind the wheel was under the influence.
Make a New Year's resolution to not drive under the influence in 2014. Think seriously about the consequences of driving while impaired.
It isn't worth it.