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Letter to the Editor: Never drive drunk

By Teri Pectol
Utah Highway Safety Office, Salt Lake City


Drunk driving is one of America's deadliest crimes. According to the Utah Highway Safety Office, in December 2005, 10 people were killed in alcohol or other drug related crashes. In 2005, there were 282 fatalities on Utah's roadways, 38 were alcohol or other drug related.

We are fortunate in Utah to be the leading state in the nation for the least amount of alcohol related deaths. How can we get the message out to our community to "eliminate" drunk driving?

Because the holiday season and winter season is one of the deadliest and most dangerous times on our roadways due to impaired driving, Utah law enforcement will be conducting sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and using undercover officers to get more drunk drivers off the road. Cops will be out in full force looking for and cracking down on impaired drivers this holiday season.

Please remind our neighbors to designate a sober driver and not let friends drive drunk. These are just two of several simple steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving. Other important tips include:

•Plan ahead: Whenever consuming alcohol, designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys;

•If impaired, call a taxi, or call a sober friend or family member to get home safely;

•Promptly report drunk drivers to law enforcement;

•Wearing a seat belt or using protective gear on a motorcycle is the best defense against an impaired driver;

•And remember, Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk. If there is someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help make other arrangements for them to get to where they are going safely.

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