Drive safe into the new year


BUCKHANNON — New Year’s Eve is one of the most dangerous holidays on the calendar, as millions of people attend parties and indulge in excessive amounts of alcohol while counting down to midnight. A frightening amount of those people drive home afterwards, drunk behind the wheel of their car.

According to American Automotive Association, known as AAA, compared to an average night on the weekend— between December 31 at 6 p.m. and January 1 at 6 a.m. there are 71% more crashes with drugs or alcohol as the main contributing factor. Even for sober drivers, caution must be used while on the roads during the NYE holiday weekend.

U.S. Department of Transportation shows that, on national average, over 300 people die in drunk driving crashes the week between Christmas and New Year.

Lieutenant Doug Loudin with the Buckhannon Police Department (BPD) explained, “I can’t speak enough about not drinking and driving. The worst thing you can do is get out there and drink and drive, especially during the holiday. A lot of us [officers] will be out looking for that. Have a designated driver. That doesn’t mean whoever is the most sober, it means whoever has not consumed alcohol at all. Also don’t drink to excess to where you have alcohol poisoning either. The best thing to do is to enjoy the NYE with your loved ones and to be able to remember it.”

Driving while intoxicated is illegal in all 50 states. By driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, not only puts the driver of the vehicle and passengers in great danger, but also risks the lives of others on the road. You do not have to be drunk to be a victim of drunk driving, so please remember to watch those around you who may have decided to drive while impaired.

Officer Loudin sends his best wishes to Buckhannon on behalf of the BPD, “The Buckhannon Police Department wishes you a Happy New Year and a safe year to come. We kindly ask that you think of the safety of yourself and others all year long and celebrate all special occasions in a safe and healthy manner.”

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