Holidays time to remember: You Drink Drive, You Lose

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 18, 2003

The holidays will not be as enjoyable this year for the more than 300 families in Ohio who will be without loved ones who were killed in crashes caused by impaired drivers.

December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month and troopers are giving impaired drivers notice: You Drink & Drive. You Lose.

In 2002 alone, 379 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes.

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This month, the Patrol will target impaired drivers in an effort to save lives by preventing alcohol-related crashes.

Impaired driving is a dangerous and deadly crime.

Last year, impaired drivers were responsible for 17,419 fatalities nationwide, accounting for 258,000 reported injuries and an estimated 1.4 million arrests.

The tragedy is that these alcohol-related deaths are very preventable, they are not accidents.

Impaired driving is a serious crime that costs Ohioans millions of dollars each year in emergency care costs, lost property and, most important, precious lives.

This holiday season, the patrol has joined law enforcement agencies across the country to intensify the fight against impaired driving by joining the You Drink & Drive. You Lose public education campaign.

The patrol hopes to save lives in Ohio and help reach the national goal of less than 11,000 alcohol-related deaths by the year 2005.

In addition, the patrol will participate in the Operation C.A.R.E. National Holiday Lifesaver Weekend, from Dec. 19 to 22, by increasing the number of troopers on Ohio's roadways.

Also in recognition of 3D Prevention Month, troopers throughout Ohio will continue to participate in the MADD Red Ribbon campaign to remind Ohioans to designate a driver.

Hundreds of lives are lost each year on our highways as the result of alcohol-related crashes, and thousands of loved ones are left to grieve.

Designate a sober driver, hire a taxi, call a safe ride program, or make arrangements to spend the night where you are drinking.

Don't drink and drive, be sure to buckle your safety belt, and don't let your friends or loved ones drink and drive.

You Drink & Drive. You Lose.

It's about safety!

Lt. Carl Roark is commander of the Ironton Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.