Weekly Column from Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua)December 20, 2019
As we prepare to revel in the upcoming holiday celebrations, it is especially important to remember to do so safely. Many of our holiday traditions, especially our New Year’s Eve celebrations, involve indulging in spirits. Done safely, and in moderation, these can be wonderful holiday experiences. However, tragedy can be only one bad decision away.
December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month, and its message is important: do not operate a vehicle if your ability to do so is impaired. Drunk driving is not only dangerous to the driver but to vehicle passengers, bystanders and other drivers. Please consider the ramifications of impaired driving, especially as we prepare to close out 2019 and welcome in a new decade.
As part of December’s awareness month, New York State has also embarked on a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign. Started earlier this month, it runs through Jan. 1, 2020. According to information from the Special Traffic Options Program for Driving While Intoxicated, last year alone there were 4,142 arrests for impaired driving and 144,197 tickets and violations issued. This year, let’s try to get both of those numbers to zero.
THERE IS ALWAYS A SAFE WAY TO GET HOME
There is no excuse for impaired driving. Here in New York, we have taxis, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft and a robust public transportation system. Please, use these services, or a sober, reliable designated driver when making your way about town.
Further, law enforcement in the state has encouraged drivers to download and use the Stop DWI “Have a Plan” app. By thinking ahead and coming up with a plan before imbibing, many regrettable situations can be avoided.
There is much to celebrate this year, and our time with family and friends is to be cherished. It is my sincerest hope that we can reduce and ultimately eliminate drunk driving tragedies that unfortunately mar the season and, for too many families, turn a season of cheer into a never-ending nightmare. Together, by making responsible choices, we can combat these unneeded, avoidable situations and ensure everyone has a safe, happy and healthy holiday season.
What do you think? I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions, and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.