Summer is the season of fun in the sun and getting together with friends and family for barbecues, boating or a day at the beach. Many of these get-togethers include alcohol and, all too often, drunk driving. A day of fun quickly turns into a loved one gambling with their life, and the lives of others on the drive home.
Members of the Snohomish County DUI Task Force, Pro-Active Criminal Enforcement, DUI Victims and other traffic safety advocates are working together on this summer’s Drive Hammered-Get Nailed Campaign in hopes of saving lives.
You may be surprised to know that in Washington drunk driving is the single largest cause of fatal collisions and more DUI citations are issued in August than any other month. That is why local law enforcement are conducting extra DUI patrols throughout August. The goal is to take impaired drivers off the road in an effort to protect sober drivers who share the roadways and to save families from the devastating consequences of a DUI collision.
To avoid something like this touching your life and the lives of those you love, here are some tips for you next summer gathering:
* Maintain a designated driver rule at your summer parties. Anyone drinking alcohol at the party must be accompanied by a sober driver.
* Trade an alcoholic beverage for your guest’s car keys.
* Host a dry (alcohol-free) party. Try offering your guest a delicious punch and fun non-alcoholic drink alternatives.
* Have a limited supply of alcohol on hand to avoid excessive drinking.
* Do not fear a confrontation. A momentary argument over car keys is nothing compared to the lifetime of pain caused from a DUI collision.
* Finally, remind your guests that extra DUI patrols are going on now.
One night, one party, one event, can change a family’s life forever. A day or evening of drinking alcohol is not worth risking your life and the lives of those you love. So remember, after your next barbecue, boating trip or day at the beach, if you drive hammered, you may get nailed.
Tracy S. McMillan is coordinator of the Snohomish County DUI Task Force/Victim Panel.