Be careful driving for New Year’s Eve

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 17, 2004

The statistics alone should make all of us take extra care when driving tonight. Last New Year’s, most of the traffic deaths that occurred were alcohol-related.

If that doesn’t put the fear of God in you, perhaps knowing that extra patrols will be out tonight and early tomorrow morning on both sides of the river will keep people from driving drunk.

Concordia Parish, in particular, will be making use of its new traffic enforcement unit, officers who are dedicated to looking out for DUIs, underage drinking, speeders and reckless driving.

Email newsletter signup

Natchez police plan to have a roadblock set up.

It’s easy to avoid the danger of drunk driving: Just don’t do it. Designate a driver. Don’t get behind the wheel if you have had too much, and don’t let your friends or family members get behind the wheel.

According to research from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, alcohol has severe effects on brain function. Among them:

4Alcohol affects all parts of the brain, which also affects the heart rate, coordination, speech, and destruction of brain cells.

4It has become clear over recent years that alcohol impacts both behavior and brain function differently in adolescents and adults.

4The brain does not finish developing until a person is around 20 years old, and one of the last regions to mature is intimately involved with the ability to plan and make complex judgments.

4Alcohol may encourage aggression by disrupting normal brain mechanisms that normally restrain impulsive behavior such as aggression.

Please take care tonight. We don’t want any headlines about New Year’s Eve fatalities in this week’s newspaper.