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Celebrate safely in the new year

New Year’s parties are about to get under way and it is a good time to again remember not to get behind the wheel of a car after drinking at one of those parties.

There is no excuse for getting behind the wheel any day of the year while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Police agencies pound the message home this time of the year about drinking and driving.

There were 23,791 intoxicated driving arrests by the Ohio State Highway Patrol in 2015. The patrol this year has already exceeded that number by nearly 1,000 arrests.

Last year there were a couple dozen people killed in wrecks between Christmas and New Year’s Day in Ohio and hundreds are arrested for driving drunk during the same period.

All law enforcement agencies will be out in full force to catch those drivers who ignore the message of drinking and driving during the New Year’s holiday period.

Many people play it smart on New Year’s Eve. They attend a party at a friend’s house with plans to stay over. Other couples may go to a lavish dinner/dance at a hotel and book a room for the night. Then there are others that actually practice having a designated driver or even renting a limousine.

Many people believe it is dangerous to even be on the roads on New Year’s Eve because of the drinking.

There may be a lot of alcohol consumed on New Year’s Eve but there also is a lot consumed any weekend of the year. People leave bars and get behind the wheel without thinking twice. Why think about it on New Year’s Eve and not the other days of the year?

Alcohol impairs the ability to drive. It slows reaction time and also causes a driver to cross the center line. There are serious or fatal accidents every weekend in Ohio and West Virginia involving alcohol. Innocent family members are killed because someone was behind the wheel under the influence.

Make a New Year’s resolution to not drive under the influence in 2017. Think seriously about the consequences of driving while impaired.

It isn’t worth it.

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