Independence County Sheriff’s Dept. reminder: ‘Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving’

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This holiday season, Independence County Sheriff’s Department is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind all drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Before traveling to holiday festivities or seasonal vacations, make sure you plan for a sober designated driver before enjoying an alcoholic beverage. This holiday season, and every day, remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

“We want our community to enjoy a safe and happy holiday season. With more drivers on the roads during this busy time of year, it’s more important than ever for us to stress the importance of safe driving habits,” said Sheriff Shawn Stephens. “We know everyone is rushing around, finishing those last-minute errands and attending various holiday parties. But before you ever head out to the festivities, make sure you plan a sober ride home, because driving drunk should never be an option. Help us spread the message: Even one drink is one drink too many if you’re the driver. Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.”

According to NHTSA, 10,511 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2018. On average, more than 10,000 people were killed each year from 2014 to 2018 — one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 50 minutes in 2018. This is why the sheriff’s department is working with NHTSA to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death. As you head out to the holiday festivities and office parties, help us spread the word: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

This holiday season, Independence County and NHTSA urge drivers to designate a sober driver before heading out for the evening. If you plan on drinking, plan on not driving. Doing so could change your life, not to mention the lives of your passengers, of pedestrians, or of other drivers and passengers nearby.

If you’re the designated driver, make sure you keep that promise of safety to yourself and your passengers. Stay hydrated with water and other non-alcoholic beverages. Support other designated drivers, too. It can be a long night, but people are counting on you, not to mention the other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians on the streets. Take the role of a designated driver seriously — people are relying on you.

Party with a Plan

Before ever heading out, it’s vital to plan ahead. Be honest with yourself: You know whether you’ll be drinking or not. Follow these ideas to ensure you and your fellow partygoers stay safe.

• Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.

• If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact law enforcement.

• Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

For more information about the Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving campaign, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.


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