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St. Patrick's Day: don't rely on luck-call a cab

No one really needs to be told drunk driving is something that should be avoided. During the last 30 years, there has been an endless stream of studies examining and explaining the dangers of drunk driving. Additionally, the penalties for drunk driving have been ratcheted up, year after year, with significant fines and severe punishment likely outcomes of any DUI arrest and conviction.

With tonight being St. Patrick's Day, announcements again have been made by the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety to warn residents that Georgia state troopers, county sheriffs and local police will all be out in force on the roads to prevent drunk driving accidents.

The death, destruction and mayhem caused by alcohol impaired driving are truly staggering. In 2013 alone, the number of people killed in Georgia in alcohol-related collisions increased by six percent to 161.

Many people may dismiss 161 as rather insignificant compared with the population of Georgia, but a more frightening number may be the 9,300 alcohol-related crashes that occurred last year, which is the equivalent of a good-sized small town.

From that total of more than 9,000 crashes, 5,644 people were injured. Some may have been minor, merely a broken bone or some bruises. Other, however, may not have been so lucky, suffering catastrophic injuries that will require multiple surgeries to attempt to undo the damage caused by a moment's drunken negligence.

They may have been rendered quadriplegic, suffered spinal courd injuries or other traumatic brain injuries and may live a very different life than the one they experienced before the crash.

Call a cab or have a sober designated driver. Even a $100 cab fare is cheap compared to the fines and legal costs of a DUI. And it pales to trivial insignificance compared to life in a motorized wheel chair or worse.

Source: WCTV, "Highway Safety Officials, TEAM Georgia Warn Holiday Revelers Of DUI Consequences," March 14, 2014

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