(Fremont County, Wyo.) – The holidays are a time for celebration, visiting with loved ones, and reflecting on the year past and the year ahead. Yet all too often, the holiday spirit is destroyed by the recklessness of a drunk driver.

That’s why Injury Prevention Resources is joining with highway safety partners and law enforcement organizations across the country this December to remind everyone that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving, and that drinking and driving don’t mix.

Injury Prevention Resources is encouraging people to take steps to ensure their holiday celebrations don’t end in tragedy.

•           Designate a sober driver before the celebrations begin; plan a way to get home safely at the end of the night.

•           If you are impaired, call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, use public transportation, or call your local free ride program.

•           Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel.

•           If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life, and inaction could cost a life.

“Whether you’ve had one or one too many — drinking and driving is never worth the risk,” said Noel Cooper, Injury Prevention Resources Executive Director.  “If you are going to drink, designate a sober driver before the party starts, and encourage your friends and family to always do the same. Each person owes it to their community, friends and family not to put other vehicle occupant’s lives at risk”.

Twenty-nine percent of fatalities during the Decembers of 2007 to 2011 occurred in crashes that involved drivers with blood alcohol concentrations of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.

“While everyone knows that driving a vehicle or riding a motorcycle while impaired seriously jeopardizes your safety and the safety of others on the road around you, we still see far too many lives lost each December,” said Tom Cunningham.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 760 people died as a result of drunk driving-related crashes during December 2011.

“The holidays should be a time for celebration, not tragedy,” Noel Cooper said.  “Help us make Fremont County’s roadways safer by never driving after drinking. Remember: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.”

–Injury Prevention Resources