Freedom from danger on highways is a priority

December 18, 2013

To the editor:

Alcohol destroys freedom for millions of Americans. The holiday season offer ideal time to talk about safety and freedom.

The freedom to travel safely from threat of alcohol and other drug-impaired driving, freedom from the threat of a violent, life threatening traffic crash, and independence from fear of resulting serious injury or even death.

For the 10,225 Americans who were killed last year, l, 708 fatalities between Thanksgiving and New Year, in alcohol-related traffic crashes, their freedoms were destroyed. And for more than one million who were injured, their freedoms were destroyed.

Thanks to the efforts of law enforcement agencies across the state, the number of DUI arrests continues to increase. In fact, the Highway Patrol alone made 14,577 DUI arrests in 2010, which is a 13 percent increase when compared to the number of DUI arrests made at the same point in time the previous year. Enforcement efforts like this are needed as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; remains the leading cause of fatal collisions on South Carolina roadways. Over 40 percent of the traffic fatalities that occur each year are caused by drunk drivers.

Drunk driving has left a devastating mark on this state for years, and S.C. consistently ranks among the top in the nation for deaths caused by drunk driving.

One of the most effective ways to protect people from the dangers of impaired driving is the use of sobriety checkpoints. Sobriety checkpoints help law enforcement detect and deter impaired drivers and present only a minimal delay to travelers.

One of the best protections against death or injury in an alcohol/drug or other crash is safety belt use.

Join MADD in supporting these programs.

Margaret Brackett

MADD Newberry County coordinator