Deputies watching for holiday drunk drivers

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With the excitement of holiday parties and celebrations, too many drivers are taking to the roadways after drinking.

So Lorain County sheriff’s deputies are keeping a careful watch through the new year for folks who are impaired behind the wheel.

“We want to keep our roads safe for holiday travelers, so we will have zero tolerance for drunk driving,” said sheriff Phil Stammitti.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that any decision to drive while impaired can have serious and even deadly consequences.

Across the nation last year, 37,133 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes and 29 percent (10,874) died in crashes where the driver had a blood alcohol concentration over the limit of .08.

“The holidays are a time of joy and reflection but also a time to use extra caution on the roads,” said Stammitti. “Unfortunately, alcohol at many holiday events contributes to the number of impaired drivers on our roadways. Help us spread the message: Even one drink is one drink too many. If you feel buzzed, you are already drunk.

“This ought to be the ‘most wonderful time of the year,’ so we will do what it takes to help save lives by keeping our roads safe. If you choose to drive impaired, not only will you risk your safety and that of others but you will also face the legal consequences.”

Be sure to follow these trips to stay safe on the road this holiday season:

• If you will be drinking, plan on not driving. Plan your safe ride home before you start the party. Designate a sober driver ahead of time.

• If you become intoxicated, do not drive for any reason. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation. Try NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, which allows users to call a taxi or friend and identify their location so they can be picked up.

• If someone you know has been drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Take their keys, take them home, or help them arrange a safe way home.

• If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement. Your actions could help save someone’s life.

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