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Louisiana State police hope for zero fatalities during December

The safety of the roadways comes into question each year around the holiday season. Despite the increased likelihood for drinking and driving, Louisiana State Police are still holding strong to the same goal they have been pursuing for years: zero fatal accidents between Thanksgiving and Christmas. What that likely means is an increase in the number of DUI or DWI tickets issued as police increase their pursuit of drunk drivers and issue more citations in an effort to reduce the number of alcohol related crashes.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving joined the State Police in this goal some time since 2001, when state authorities made its first attempt. Some believe that this could be the year that it happens though, as long as friends and family are aware of what their loved ones are doing and willing to stop them if they choose to drink and drive.

Not all fatal crashes involve alcohol though. According to reports, there were 38 fatalities last year in the region of the state covered by State Police Troop C. Authorities have said that 21 of these deaths were related to alcohol. This means that more than half of the lives lost in 2011 may have been saved if alcohol was not involved, so again look for increased enforcement of all traffic laws but especially driving under the influence checkpoints.

Lafourche, St. James and Terrebonne parishes are all part of the same region. Data shows that there were five fatal crashes during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year. It is likely that some of these accidents involved alcohol.

In order to keep the roads safe, people who choose to drink should have a plan so that they do not have to drive. Many suggest having a designated driver or taking a cab at the end of the night. Others note that it may be simpler to stay where you are, especially if you are drinking at a holiday party at a relative's home. Letting other people know that these options exist can also increase the safety on the roads, allowing those individuals on the way to their families' Christmas and New Year's Eve parties to arrive alive.

Source: Houma Today, "Zero is a worthwhile goal," Nov. 19, 2012

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