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City Council: No excuses for DUI this holiday season

Live from City Hall

Posted: December 25, 2008 2:48 p.m.
Updated: December 26, 2008 4:30 a.m.

This holiday season there are no excuses. There is not the slightest amount of justification to drink and drive - ever. Yet there are those among us who will face a situation where that fateful decision will be made; whether or not to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.

We already know the consequences of drinking and driving. At the minimum, drinking and driving can cost you your freedom, thousands of dollars in court costs and fees. Potentially it could also take someone's life. Many believe DUIs happen predominately to other people or just to young males. According to recent statistics released by the Auto Club, these beliefs are just another myth.

An analysis of California drinking and driving data from 1998 to 2007 by the Automobile Club of California shows that alcohol-related crashes involving young adult women drivers soared. The Auto Club found that women drivers ages 21-24 involved in fatal and injury alcohol-related crashes more than doubled - rising by 116 percent. The Auto Club analysis also showed their male counterparts' crashes during the same period rose 39 percent.

The Auto Club analysis of California Highway Patrol data of the last 10 years shows that women far outpaced men the same age in alcohol-related deaths and injuries. Alcohol-related deaths and injuries of men ages 21-24 increased by 18 percent compared to the 46 percent percent You didn't plan ahead for a designated driver? Call a cab. Twenty or thirty dollars will take you pretty much anywhere in the Santa Clarita Valley via taxi. Don't have money for a cab? Use your cell phone and start making calls. It's all but guaranteed that you'll find someone who will think it's a lot less inconvenient to pick you up than to go to your funeral or bail you out of jail. Regarding this matter, any decision you make besides getting behind the wheel while impaired is the right decision - it's that simple.

Consider this: A wayward driver suddenly swerves in your direction and, although you're minding your own business, the one or two drinks you've had impairs your reaction time and it's too late.

If that's not a strong enough argument then consider this: This holiday season and beyond, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's deputies will stop thousands of cars at DUI checkpoints around the city of Santa Clarita and elsewhere, and a couple of drinks is all is takes to go to jail, lose your license and, potentially, a lot more.

The smartest thing you can do is plan ahead and act responsibly. We all know the consequences, let's all agree - this holiday season, there are NO excuses for drinking and driving. Please - let's all have a safe holiday!

"Live from City Hall" is a column provided to The Signal by the city of Santa Clarita. The column represents the city's views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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