JEFFERSON CITY – As you attend that holiday party, or just stop off for a social hour, please remember that your last drink could be someone else’s last breath. Drinking and driving is a deadly combination that ruins the holidays for many families.
The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety wants to make sure everyone arrives alive at holiday gatherings this season. The best ways to ensure safe travel are to drive sober and buckle up.
“Thanksgiving weekend is one of the deadliest holidays of the year in Missouri due to traffic crashes,” said Bill Whitfield, Coalition executive committee chair. “Heavy traffic coupled with Missouri weather is enough to contend with, without adding alcohol or drugs to the mix. Driving impaired is never worth the risk of a tragedy.”
Over the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday, there were 14 people killed and 48 seriously injured in Missouri traffic crashes. Five of the people killed and 14 of those seriously injured involved a substance-impaired driver.
Last year in Missouri, 219 people were killed, and 666 seriously injured in crashes that involved at least one substance-impaired driver.
“An impaired driving conviction can take away your driving privileges, cost you thousands of dollars and land you in jail,” said Whitfield.
If you suspect a drunk driver or have a roadside emergency, call 1-800-525- 5555 or *55 on a cell phone for assistance from the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
We are all part of the solution. Please consider the following tips:
Don’t risk it – if you plan to drive, don’t drink.
• Encourage safe driving behaviors among family, friends and co-workers.
• Choose a designated driver before partying. A designated driver is someone who drinks NO alcohol at all.
• Take mass transit, a taxicab or ask a friend to drive you home.
• Party hosts should include alcohol-free beverages.
• Spend the night where the activity is being held.
• Report impaired drivers to law enforcement.
• Always wear your safety belt – it’s your best defense against an impaired driver.
For more information, please visit www.saveMOlives.com.