Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday Driving

The Frederick Police Department would like to announce they are joining with other federal, state and local highway safety and law enforcement officials across the nation to remind those who plan on using alcohol during the holidays to act responsibly by designating sober drivers before parties begin. The Frederick Police Department and their partners will have saturation patrols and DUI checkpoints starting in the beginning of December, 2009 and continuing through the New Year Holiday in an effort to prevent and reduce traffic accidents. We also will support any DUI Check Points conducted by the Frederick County Highway Safety Task Force under Checkpoint Strike force.

Kim C. Dine, Chief of Police, Frederick Police Department said, “Our officers will be out there saving lives and reducing traffic accidents by enforcing traffic safety laws. Our proactive approach includes efforts at educating the public and apprising our citizens ahead of time to improve voluntary compliance. Enlightened communication with our citizens is one of the best ways to improve safety and the quality of life in our City. We want our citizens to know we will be out there protecting them and saving lives."

Whether you are just meeting a few friends at the corner pub or attending a family get-together, if you plan on using alcohol, do not drive – and never let your friends or family members drive if you think they are impaired.

Designating a sober driver and not letting friends or family drive while impaired are just two of several simple steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving. Other tips include:

  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast.
  • Pace yourself—eat enough food, take breaks and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Designate a sober driver before the party and give that person your car keys.
  • If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober friend or family member for a ride home; call a cab, friend or family member to come and get you; or just stay where you are and sleep it off.
  • Never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive while impaired. Remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk.
  • Always buckle up – it’s still your best defense against other impaired drivers.
If you are hosting a Holiday dinner or New Year’s party:
  • Serve lots of food – particularly high-protein dishes;
  • Be sure to include lots of non-alcoholic beverages, desserts and coffee;
  • Be sure all of your guests designate their drivers in advance;
  • Help arrange ride-sharing with sober drivers; and
  • Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving while impaired.
Impaired driving is one of America’s deadliest problems. Overall in 2004, nearly 13,000 people died in highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 or higher. In Maryland during 2004, 286 people died due to crashes where impaired driving was a factor, representing more than 44 percent of all crash fatalities.

Driving impaired or riding with someone who is impaired is simply not worth the risk, not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be really significant.

Don’t risk your freedom, your career, your license, or your life this Thanksgiving weekend. Designate your sober driver before the party begins.

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