The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

December 30, 2012

Simple plea

Don't drink and drive this New Year's Eve — or ever

— Another calendar year is ending. Which brings about much celebration in anticipation for the new year.

But as we ring in 2013, let us do so more responsibly.

Which includes not drinking and driving and not allowing those who have been drinking to get behind the wheel.

Let’s not start off the new year with senseless fatalities.

It’s just not worth taking the risk.

The Beckley Police Department will be doing its part.

Officers will conduct a DUI sobriety checkpoint Monday from 5 to 11 p.m. on W.Va. 3 near Fayette Street/Beaver Avenue, as well as a checkpoint on U.S. 19 on Eisenhower Drive.

The checkpoints will also be supported by roving DUI enforcement patrols throughout the evening and night hours.

Officers all around the region will be looking for impaired drivers, underage drinking and those driving on suspended or revoked driver’s licenses.

We, along with the Beckley Police Department and the Southern Regional Highway Safety Program, encourage everyone to drive safe, plan ahead and designate a sober driver in advance if consuming alcohol.

A study by the Department of Health and Human Resources this summer revealed that about one-third of our state’s population admitting to drinking at least occasionally and about one in five saying they’ve engaged in “binge-drinking.”

New Year’s Eve is an occasion when that percentage tends to skyrocket.

An alarming find earlier this month showed that some retailers are even selling booze to underage consumers.

That’s beyond disappointing. Yet another sad story.

In the absence of a designated driver — or, at the very least, an absence of better judgment — drunks are taking the lives, theirs and others, into their own hands. Even one drunk driver on the road is too many.

So our message — our plea — is simple. Please don’t drink and drive or allow others to.

As a result, we’ll all be around to celebrate 2013.