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Sheriff Jay Koon's Column: Find a sober driver this Christmas

Lexington, SC 11/03/2020 - Headed to some small family gatherings and parties this month? Perhaps you are staying in to enjoy a cozy celebration? We’re all trying to find a little normal in our new routines and that includes sticking with some old favorites. For you, that may be a gift exchange with friends or baking your favorite pastry to enjoy with spiked eggnog. Whatever the tradition may be, we’re here to remind you to find a sober driver before you leave the festivities.

Your 2020 memories shouldn’t end with a DUI, a stay in jail—or worse—injury or death. On average, during the week between Christmas and New Year’s holidays, 300 people die each year in drunk-driving crashes (NHTSA). Did you know that alcohol-impaired fatalities make up more than a quarter of all crash fatalities?

It’s true. If you feel different, you drive different. Impaired driving of any kind puts yourself, your passengers and other vehicles in danger. Plus, it’s illegal. Never ride with someone who has been drinking or taking drugs. Call a ride-sharing service or a trusted, sober friend.

NHTSA says that alcohol reduces the function of the brain, impairing thinking, reasoning and muscle coordination—all essential to operating a vehicle safely. There are no quick fixes to sobering up, except time. You may think certain things like coffee make you feel more alert, but it’s not removing alcohol from your system.

So, before you head out to that party, plan for a safe ride home. And always wear your seat belt — it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.

Drive sober or get pulled over this holiday season.


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