Capt. Robert Warfel of the Frankfort Police Department summed it up perfectly in one simple sentence.
“If you’ve had anything to drink, don’t drive at all,” Warfel told State Journal reporter Kristina Belcher during an interview about the statewide “Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.
Warfel did not say don’t drink. He merely said drink responsibly.
For many, it is easier said than done.
At this season, there is much merriment as families, friends and business associates gather for holiday cheer. Especially when New Year’s Eve rolls around next week.
Unfortunately, enjoying too much holiday spirits can end in an incredible sadness for some when intoxicated people get behind the wheel.
As Belcher reported, the National Highway Safety Administration says someone in the U.S. dies about every 40 minutes from an alcohol-related crash.
Last year in Kentucky, just in the month of December, there were 449 crashes involving impaired drivers that caused 20 deaths and 586 injuries.
The weeklong period between Christmas and New Year’s is a great time to gather in celebration. Many gifts are opened, many meals are enjoyed and many champagne corks are popped.
Families gather, friends get together and office workers hold a holiday potluck or meet after work for some merriment.
During this seven-day period in Kentucky, there are also two events that will cause revelers to gather, both on Dec. 28. That afternoon, Kentucky and Louisville will meet in Rupp Arena, and then Louisville and Miami will meet in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando.
We wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy holiday season. To ensure this, we implore the use of designated drivers.
If you’ve had something to drink, hand your keys to someone else. If the person offering to drive you has had something to drink, take their keys away from them.
If you’re out and have no other option, call a cab. If you’re at a friend’s house and have no other option, sleep on the couch.
The life you save may be your own, that of a loved one or of a total stranger.
Saving a life — that would be the greatest gift of all this holiday season.