Don’t drink and drive

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is on a mission — an important one designed to help keep us all safe.

This Labor Day weekend marks the conclusion of a two-week period o enforcement focused squarely on impaired driving. The name of the initiative is “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” but the potential consequences of drunk or drugged driving could be much more serious than that.

“We always push the message,” patrol Lt. Maurice Waddell said. “We want people to designate a driver because we don’t want to have to make these arrests or have to handle a crash involving an impaired driver. We don’t want anyone to be hurt or killed.”

Waddell said last week that since the effort began Aug. 14, troopers had made 23 arrests for OVI, or operating a vehicle impaired.

That means that 23 individuals who were driving on the same roads the rest of us use every day decided to take their chances on driving after they consumed alcohol or illegal drugs.

They put their lives and the lives of everyone they happened to encounter at risk.

Labor Day may be summer’s last hurrah, but it is no excuse for impaired – or otherwise dangerous – driving. So please make sure you are part of the solution and not part of the problem.

As you head out on the road this holiday weekend, make sure you are sober if you are driving. Wear your seat belt and obey the law. Don’t speed or tailgate other vehicles; neither will actually get you to your destination much faster.

If you do have a few beers or other alcoholic beverages at a party or event, don’t get behind the wheel.

Designate a driver in advance or make arrangements to take a cab or other safe mode of transportation.

Remember, Labor Day should be a happy occasion. Don’t ruin it for yourself or your loved ones by making poor choices that could have tragic consequences.