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December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

The season between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day is one of the deadliest and most dangerous times on America's roadways due to an increase in impaired driving. Most people would never imagine that their holiday celebration could result in the loss of one’s license, imprisonment, or worse – fatalities. This December, OCSD is raising public awareness of the dangers of impaired driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 300 people died in drunk-driving crashes during the Christmas through New Year’s holiday period over the past five years. In December 2016 alone, 781 people lost their lives in drunk-driving crashes.

The holiday season is filled with festivities and gatherings with friends and families. For many, the holidays and holiday parties involve alcohol. Be honest with yourself about how you celebrate, and make a plan to get home without getting behind the wheel. Before going out to meet friends and family, plan a safe ride home.

• If you know you will be drinking, designate a sober driver ahead of time or use a rideshare app.
• If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel.
• Practice defensive driving this season and always wear your seatbelt.
• If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone's life, and inaction could cost a life.
Families play an essential part in stopping impaired driving. Talk about the risks associated with impaired driving and set clear expectations and examples. Parents and other caregivers can help their children stay safe and sober by modelling safe driving practices and choices.
Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Give yourself and your neighbors the gift of safety and peace of mind by driving sober over the holidays.