AREA -- The holiday season can be one of the deadliest and most dangerous times of the year due to an increase in impaired driving. In December 2007, 9,992 people were killed in crashes that involved a drunk driver or motorcycle rider (operator) with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
That's why Health Resources of Arkansas is joining with national, state and local highway safety officials to remind everyone who will be celebrating during the holidays that "Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving" and to never forget to plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
"The consumption of alcohol, drugs and driving just don't mix," said Bonita Montgomery with Health Resources of Arkansas. "Whether you've had way too much or just one too many, it's not worth the risk of killing yourself or someone else. Don't ever get behind the wheel of a vehicle when you are impaired."
Following these easy steps, a driver can enjoy a safe and festive holiday without jeopardizing their life and the lives of others who may be on the road:
* Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
* Before drinking, designate a sober driver and give that person your keys.
* If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don't hesitate to contact local law enforcement.
* And remember, If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
"Saving lives on our roads is a top priority and we need everyone's help to do it," Montgomery said. "This holiday season, don't let your year end in an arrest, or even worse, death. Make smart decisions. Plan ahead, so you can assure a safe way home," she said.
For more information, visit www.StopImpairedDriving.org.