We're just days away from celebrating the arrival of a new year. It's a festive time, a time for parties and family gatherings.
It's also one of the most dangerous times of the year, because people continue to ignore the fact that drinking and driving is one of this country's most often-committed and deadliest crimes.
Three hundred seventy-nine North Carolinians lost their lives in DWI-related accidents last year. An average of more than one person per day!
That's why police and sheriff patrols will be out in force this week conducting sobriety checkpoints and using undercover officers to get drunk drivers off the road. So this holiday season, enjoy the parties, but drink responsibly.
If you drink, don't get behind the wheel. Plan ahead. Have a designated driver and give them your keys ahead of time; or call a cab.
Don't take a chance on getting arrested for DWI or being involved in a drunk-driving accident. You could end up killing yourself, a family member, a friend or bringing tragedy into the life of a perfect stranger who had the misfortune of sharing the road with a drunk driver - you. Drunk driving is simply not worth the risk.