To the editor:
There will be office parties and gatherings in homes this season. We want everyone to have a safe and happy holiday.
The Iowa State Patrol reminds you that if you are organizing or hosting an office party or one at home this season and planning on serving alcoholic beverages, you need to remind your guests to designate a sober driver in advance. Then make sure all of your guests leave with a sober driver at the end of the party. It is a little known fact that 65 percent of our youth who drink get their alcohol from family and friends. If you provide alcohol to underage youth you can and will be held liable both criminally and civilly.
Impaired driving is no accident — nor is it a victimless crime. You made the choice to drink then drive; this makes it one of America’s deadliest problems. In America on average, more than 12,000 people (approx. one every 51 minutes) die every year in alcohol-related crashes, 900,000 are arrested each year for OWI/DWI and a full one-third of those are repeat offenders. Alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes cost more than $37 billion annually.
Driving impaired or riding with someone who is impaired is clearly not worth the risk. The consequences can be deadly. So please remember to ‘Give the Gift of a Lift’ this holiday season because ‘Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk.’ If someone needs a ride home, give them one or allow them to spend the night. Let’s all make the holiday season a happy and joyful event.
Safety Education Officer
Iowa State Patrol