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Don’t ruin the holidays by driving drunk

EDITORIAL

The Advocate-Messenger

December is National 3D Prevention Month, and it doesn’t have anything to with three-dimensional movies.

This month, a national campaign is focused on reducing drugged, drunken and distracted — the three Ds — driving.

The campaign is more commonly referred to as National Impaired Driving Prevention, and shines a light on the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs — including prescribed medications — and distracted driving.

According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, 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.”

About one in three traffic deaths in the U.S. involve an impaired driver.

From 2003 to 2012, 2,041 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Kentucky.

Nearly every day, people in our own community are arrested for driving under the influence. Often the results are tragic and fatal.

The decision to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while you are impaired, distracted or even tired can be life changing not only for you but the other innocent drivers on the road who are injured or killed in accidents.

In Kentucky, it is illegal to drive with a blood or breath alcohol content of 0.08 or higher.

Penalties range from fines of $200 to $1,000, jail time from two days to 12 months or more, court-mandated substance abuse treatment, license suspension from one month to five years and community service.

It is illegal for anyone to text while driving, and that includes answering emails. Text messaging fines are $25 (first offense) and then $50, plus court costs.

The consequences aren’t worth it.

We encourage you to always wear your safety belt, don’t drive drunk or drugged, put your cell phones down while driving and pay attention for other distracted drivers.

If you do drink, designate a sober driver, call a cab or driving service like Uber or celebrate at home.

Don’t let this holiday season be marred by tragedies that are entirely preventable if we are responsible drivers.