Holiday Season in Mac Beats the Odds

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By Managing Editor Teri L. Hansen

During the holiday season folks are inundated with safe driving ads. It isn’t just winter weather or defensive driving authorities tout, it is the staggering statistics on driving under the influence. According to SafeAuto.com, compared to an average night on the weekend, from Dec. 31 through Jan 1, there are 71% more crashes with drugs or alcohol as a contributing factor.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, hundreds of lives are lost due to drunk drivers during the holiday season.  Over the past five years, an average of 300 people died in drunk driving crashes the week between Christmas and New Year in the country. Alcohol-impaired fatalities make up more than a quarter of all crash fatalities.  In 2016, 781 people lost their lives in drunk-driving-related crashes in the month of December alone.

Public awareness and a nationwide movement against drunk driving, it is shocking that this is still an issue. “You drink, you drive, you lose” has become a highway slogan that is easily recognizable by drivers. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers notes that the overall number of drunk driving deaths is down by about 50% since 1980. New Year’s driving statistics from SafeAuto.com show that between 2008 and 2012, Jan. 1 had the highest percentage of alcohol related deaths.

Luckily, McPherson drivers are beating the odds. This year a number of options were available for those party-goers on New Years in Mac. Midway Motors contributed a vehicle for the evening to be used to get people safely home from the Community Building celebration. The local Uber was up and running and social media had multiple posts from community members offering to get people home safe and sound.

According to McPherson Police Department Administrative Captain/Public Information Officer Mark Brinck, people did relatively well this season. Between Dec. 24, 2019 and Jan. 1, 2020, McPherson Police Department Officers arrested one motor vehicle driver for Driving Under the Influence. Officers made the same number of DUI arrests between Dec.r 24, 2018 and Jan. 1, 2019. Arrests records show that one additional DUI arrest was made outside the city limits within the county on New Years Eve, however, all things considered it could have been worse.

“We believe this is a reflection on our communities commitment to helping us keep the streets safe by planning ahead, using designated drivers, alternative transportation, or staying where they are at when they are under the influence,” Brinck said. “Our community is also aware, our Officers diligently and proactively enforce the traffic laws to help keep our community safe every day of the year.”During the holiday season folks are inundated with safe driving ads. It isn’t just winter weather or defensive driving authorities tout, it is the staggering statistics on driving under the influence. According to SafeAuto.com, compared to an average night on the weekend, from Dec. 31 through Jan 1, there are 71% more crashes with drugs or alcohol as a contributing factor.

 

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