Wednesday, 01 February 2023

Mino and Garcia: Important choices ahead

The California Highway Patrol and Team DUI have joined forces to spread the word about the choices we make regarding the decision to drink and drive.


We enter the holidays with plans of get-togethers with family and friends, company parties and year-end celebrations. There will be an increase in traffic with old man winter knocking at our door. Based on past performance and statistics, the anticipated driving under the influence fatality rate is expected to run in the 40-percent range.


What, do you ask, can a person do to reduce that statistic? There are several things that can be done.


The designated driver approach is one in which someone in the group is in charge of the transportation. Treat him/her good by supplying the designated driver with all the soda or other nonalcoholic beverages they desire.


Call for a taxi or friend to pick you up or just plan on spending the night at the place you are drinking at.


And, by all means, don’t get into the vehicle if you know that the driver has been drinking.


Our holiday exhortations not to drink and drive are repeated annually, even though they may seem monotonous and ritualistic. This plea will be made anew every holiday period because the decisions reached by each individual driver counts for so much.


The highway is a community in itself, particularly in California, where our major roads are constantly occupied, where activity never ceases, and where unwise and thoughtless behavior results in undesirable consequences.


Sometimes the consequence of driving after drinking is drowsiness, because alcohol is a depressant. That form of sleepiness is not so easily overcome, except for the obvious don’t even start out or let the sober designated driver take over the vehicle.


This is not meant to be a gloomy message, but we all see enough suffering every holiday season that need not happen if we all do our part.


Please think about judgment and choices this season as your life may depend on it.


Also, let us remind everyone to activate your headlights during inclement weather for everyone’s safety.


Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season and see you in the New Year.


Lance Mino and Adam Garcia are California Highway Patrol officers. Team DUI is a group of local agencies – including the CHP – and individuals dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking in Lake County.


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