istock_000018051666mediumEvery year in Arizona, almost 300 people are killed in alcohol-related crashes. Many deaths occur around the holidays when people are more likely to be celebrating with friends and family. What make these deaths so heartbreaking is that they are preventable. The first and foremost step is never get behind the wheel if you have been drinking alcohol.

Always choose a designated driver or use alternate ways of going to and from a destination , such as a cab, public transportation, or using a service such as Uber or Lyft if you plan to drink. If you are hosting a party or gathering, offer non-alcoholic beverages, stop serving alcohol before the party ends, arrange alternate transportation for guests, and for guests that drove to your party, locate their vehicle’s keys so they are unable to drive home. Also, make sure to never serve minors alcohol.

Our law enforcement community in Arizona does their part to keep people safe on the roads by holding sobriety checkpoints. The checkpoints are an enforcement program that allows officers to stop all or predetermined vehicles to see if drivers have been drinking. In addition to putting people in danger by drinking and driving, there are stiff legal penalties if you are arrested for driving impaired; one is an ignition lock. The law requires convicted drunk drivers to use an ignition interlock before a reinstatement of driving privileges. This law, passed in 2007, is the first of its kind and is one of the best in the country. Since the law went into effect, drunk driving deaths in the state have decreased by 45 percent. Please do your part to help keep Arizona roads safe this holiday season by not drinking and driving.