Drinking and Driving: A Fatal Combination Statistics Show Increased Alcohol Abuse during Holidays

Article excerpt

This month, Mothers Against Drunk Driving began its drunk-driving prevention mission, anchored by the annual Red Ribbon Campaign aimed at making everyone think twice about the life-threatening perils of drinking and driving.

Citizens are being asked to place a MADD Red Ribbon on the antennae of their vehicle to declare their intention not to drink and drive.

Mitigating the volume of drunk-driving incidents requires both civic leadership to heighten drinking-and-driving awareness and a responsive and responsible citizenry to act accordingly. Fortunately for St. Louis, we have had both. We have had civic and human services organizations, police departments and business leaders all playing a major role in generating a loud noise level to caution against drinking and driving. Major holidays are approaching - Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's - when there are thousands of family and social gatherings. These are times for quality family visits and an opportunity to end the year in a positive state of mind and with a forward outlook for the coming year. This is also a period when our businesses do well, not just for holiday shopping, but for social gatherings at restaurants and bars. Although I encourage everyone to get out and have an active and enjoyable holiday season, I remind you of the importance of safety first. Last year in St. Louis, there were 199 more arrests for driving while intoxicated and driving under the influence than in the previous year. That may show good policing, but it also shows poor discretion by the public. Within the city limits, 975 people were cited for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated during 1995, compared with 776 people the prior year. This is cause for alarm, and this is why I am making a very serious public appeal for every one operating a motor vehicle to think, and not drink and drive. …