City: Don’t drink and drive this holiday season

PALMDALE – The winter holidays are among the deadliest times of the year because of impaired and intoxicated driving, and the City of Palmdale is actively asking residents not to drink and drive this holiday season, and to participate in various 3D month activities.

“December is recognized as National Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month, and the City of Palmdale in collaboration of 3D Month, is getting the word out that participation in 3D Month is not only easy, but will help continue to reduce the number of alcohol related fatalities,” said Palmdale’s  Community Safety Supervisor, Kelly Long.

“If you are an establishment that serves alcohol, be responsible and participate in the Designated Driver program,” Long said. “This program asks each participating business to encourage their patrons to designate a driver and then to provide those designated drivers with free soft drinks during their visit.”

According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) during 2008, alcohol related fatalities totaled 11,773, which represents 31 percent of all fatal crashes.  The 11,773 fatalities in alcohol-related crashes during 2008 represent an average of one alcohol-related fatality every 40 minutes. More than 17,000 people are the victims of drunk driving accidents every year.  Nonetheless, 2008 marked a 9 percent national decrease of alcohol related fatalities.

“If as a resident you are planning a party, offer alternative non-alcoholic beverages to your guests and don’t let friends drive drunk,” added Long.

“Residents may also participate in 3D Month Activities by driving with their headlights on in honor of ‘Lights on for Life’ on Friday, December 16,” said Long.  “This event recognizes those who have been killed or injured by drunk drivers.”

In addition to the ‘Lights on for Life’ campaign, the City of Palmdale will be spearheading a “Tie-One-On” campaign.  Residents may participate in this campaign by picking up a red ribbon at the City of Palmdale’s Public Safety and Community Relations office beginning Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 and displaying the ribbon on their antennas in support of 3D month.  The Tie-One-On campaign begins on Thursday, November 24 and ends on Sunday, Jan. 1.

Throughout this holiday season the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station will be out in full force to prevent impaired driving by conducting DUI checkpoints.  “If you drive after drinking or using drugs, you will be caught, arrested and prosecuted,” said Long.  “Not only is this an embarrassing situation, but also expensive.  The cost of your defense and potential fines can be thousands of dollars and you can even lose your car, or worse yet, take another persons life.”

For more information on 3D Month activities, please contact the crime prevention office at 661-267-5170.

(Information via press release from the City of Palmdale)