If you’re enjoying the holidays with a drink, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Pottawatomie Sheriff’s Office, Tecumseh and Shawnee Police Departments has a message for you: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Due to the increase in drunk-driving-related fatalities around the holidays each year, law enforcement agencies across America will be actively searching for and arresting drunk drivers from December 16 to January 1. They have good reason to: in 2013, 10,076 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver. In December 2013 alone there were 733 people killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. 23 of those deaths occurred on Christmas Day.

 

“It’s time for all drivers to get the message,” said Pottawatomie County Deputy Josh Soward. “Drunk driving is a choice you make, and when you make that choice, people get hurt or die. That’s why we’re joining with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to share the message: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” The safest way to get home, Sgt. Dan Shumaker with Shawnee Police Department said, is to drive sober or catch a ride with a sober designated driver. If you plan on drinking at the holiday party or at a restaurant, hand the keys over to someone else – a sober friend, a taxi or public transportation. Or, try NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, which allows users to call a taxi or a friend by identifying their location so they can be picked up. The app is available at http://ow.ly/RWs3S for Android and http://ow.ly/RWs8h for iPhone users.

 

Pottawatomie County drivers, please follow these tips to keep the holidays safe and happy:

 

• Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk—or worse, the risk of having a crash.

• If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Plan ahead; designate a sober driver before the party begins.

• If you have been drinking, do not drive. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member.

Remember, driving after drinking should never be an option. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.