State should work to reduce DUI fatalies

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 23, 1999

A study released Tuesday shows Mississippi earned a B- grade on how the state handles drinking and driving problems.

And although it’s refreshing that our state is doing better than average — nationally a C+ was the average — we think this is one area in which we must demand excellence.

Call us overbearing, demanding parents, but we think it’s crucial that our state work to keep improving that score.

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Last year 351 people died in alcohol-related accidents. And some of those were innocent children, just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Three hundred and fifty-one may not seem like such a huge number when compared to cancer and heart attacks except that drinking and driving is completely preventable and often harms innocent bystanders.

While the state’s alcohol-related death toll has improved from previous years, it’s still too high. Our goal should be to lower that number to zero.

It may sound like a lofty goal but it’s certainly an attainable one.

Think about it.

What prevents us from eliminating alcohol-related deaths?

Nothing but apathy.

All it takes is a little effort.

It’s actually quite simple. If you’ve been drinking — even a little — don’t drive.

If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for the rest of us.

As the holidays are upon us, please do us all a favor, don’t drink and drive. Every one is counting on you. No party is worth your life. We need to strive for an A+ on next year’s report card — A for abolished.