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Missouri Department of Transportation

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MoDOT News Release 

For more information, contact Sandra Hentges/Melissa Black at 573-526-4141 or Revee White at 573-751-5414.

November 19, 2009 12:00 AM
Don't Be a Loser This Holiday Season
You Drink and Drive. You Lose.

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - Tipsy, merry, sauced, snockered, jazzed, goosed...whatever word you use, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety reminds all motorists that if you drink and drive this holiday season...you lose.

"It's not just a slogan, it's a fact," says Leanna Depue, director of the coalition's executive committee. "Whether it is your license, your money or your life -- You Drink and Drive. You Lose."

The days between Thanksgiving and Christmas are usually filled with lots of holiday travel and cheer. Unfortunately, it can also be a very dangerous time on Missouri roads. In 2008, between the two holidays, 94 people died in traffic crashes (15 were alcohol related) in Missouri and 5,163 were injured (with 363 related to alcohol).

The coalition is using advertising messages to urge drivers not to drink, or to call a cab or designate a driver from Nov. 23 through Dec. 20. As always, law enforcement officers will be on the lookout for anyone driving impaired.

Even if you are not involved in a crash, consider the consequences if you are caught driving while intoxicated: you could have your license suspended, or even lose it, incur thousands of dollars in fines, and end up serving jail time.

One other sure recipe that can turn a joyful holiday into a tragedy is failure to buckle up. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.

"If you fail to buckle up during this holiday period, you run the risk of getting a ticket, or worse, getting killed or injured," Depue warns. "Make sure the only belt left unbuckled during the holidays is the one at the dinner table, not the one in your vehicle."

Research has shown that when lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent.

"Don't be a ‘loser' this holiday season," Depue says. "If you're drinking, just don't drive, and remember to buckle up. We want everyone to Arrive Alive."

To learn more about impaired driving or other safety programs, visit saveMOlives.com.

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