The holiday season is both a joyous and stressful time for many families. There is an abundance of holiday festivities and family get-togethers, errands and last-minute shopping, school holiday performances and so much more. All these parties and stressful situations can, at times, lead to an increase in alcohol, which can result in drunk driving.

Sadly, the statistics show that we have a lot of work to do to put an end to drunk driving. On average, 10,000 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes each year from 2013 to 2017. That’s the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors. In December 2017, alone, 885 people lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver.

If you plan to drink during a holiday gathering, plan for a sober driver to take you home. Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take that role seriously—your friends are relying on you. Remember that it is never OK to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or use a ride service, such as Lyft or Uber, to get home safely.

Drunk driving isn’t the only risk on the road: Drug-impaired driving is also an increasing problem on our nation’s roads. If you’re impaired by any substance—alcohol or drugs—don’t get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Driving while impaired is illegal, period.

As you head to enjoy holiday activities, please remember the Sheriff’s Department, along with our partner agencies, will be patrolling area roads in an effort to keep everyone safe throughout the season.