Our Opinion: Commit to avoid dangers, damages of drunk driving

Make a sober decision now not to drink and drive during the July 4th holiday weekend.

Why?

Because the odds, and consequences, are very much stacked against you. And if you wait until after you’ve been consuming alcohol, your judgment will be impaired.

The odds we referenced are a trio of initiatives by law enforcement officials during the extended Independence Day weekend.

According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, they include:

• DWI checkpoints and saturation patrol. The holiday weekends coincides this year with one of the quarterly DWI enforcement mobilization dates. Troops conduct checkpoints and saturation patrols during that period. And, Col. Ron Replogle, patrol superintendent, reminds motorists that troopers have zero tolerance for drinking and driving, on the road or on the water.

• Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) will be in force during the holiday weekend. All available officers will be patrolling Missouri’s roadways, enforcing the state’s speed limit, seat belt, and alcohol laws, in addition to being available to assist motorists.

• The 20-Mile Trooper operation. Troopers will be highly visible, targeting all traffic violations along Interstates 35, 44, 55, and 70, and U.S. Highways 60 and 63.

Drunk drivers are likely to be intercepted by one of these initiatives.

And they will be the lucky ones because an arrest, a serious consequence, is preferable to being involved in a fatal wreck.

Think it can’t happen to you?

The 19 people killed in during the 2013 July 4th counting period probably thought the same thing.

No one starts a holiday weekend expecting death, injury (618 last year) or involvement in an accident (1,349 in 2013), but anyone who drinks and drives invites those consequences.

According to the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, “Often, people have a hard time recuperating financially from the cost of an arrest or the crash itself. Violators risk killing or harming others, face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates and dozens of other unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, fines and court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost time at work.”

Drunk driving isn’t sensible, particularly because the offense and its consequences are preventable.

Make a sober commitment to spare yourself from the dangers and damages of drunk driving.

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