Be safe

Published 8:13 am Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It should go without saying, but please try to be safe when celebrating the incoming new year tonight.

Yes, there are many reasons to crack open a bottle of champagne — or adult beverage of your choice — to toast the demise of 2008 and to look forward to better things in the year to come.

But, if you do choose to imbibe tonight, make sure you have a designated driver who is enjoying himself or herself without partaking of a party’s alcohol offerings and can drive you home.

If you don’t have a designated driver, take the name of a cab company with you when you go out, or call a trusted family member or friend to come pick you up.

If you are hosting a party, make sure to take car keys away from partygoers who have had too much to drink. And be smart and offer non-alcohol drinks to those who are driving people home.

Better yet, heap gifts and praise on those people who offer to be designated drivers. They are doing a great service.

In 2006, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles, 378 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in Virginia. Thirty of them were teenagers.

Nearly 29,000 people were convicted of driving under the influence.

It may be fun to knock back a few tonight, but is being dead or in jail any way to really celebrate a new year?