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July Fourth is no reason for drinking and driving
Guest editorial
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During holiday periods, when there is an increase in travel on our roadways, local and state officials step up traffic enforcement hoping to hold down accidents and save lives.

This vacation driving season began in May around the Memorial Day weekend with the much publicized “Click It or Ticket” campaign to get motorists to buckle up and obey the rules of the road.

Now, as the busy Fourth of July holiday approaches, state and local public safety officials are calling attention to their annual summer campaign of “Operation Zero Tolerance — Over the Limit, Under Arrest.”

This is a campaign to reduce drinking and driving in our state. Beginning this weekend and continuing past the Fourth of July, public safety officials say local and state officers will be beefing up efforts to get impaired drivers off the roads.

They say the Fourth of July holiday period has become one of the deadliest holiday times of the year.

The statistics are alarming. In 2010, 392 people were killed across the U.S. during the Fourth of July travel period, and 39 percent of those fatalities were in accidents involving drunk drivers.

The numbers in our state also should cause us concern. In 2010, the state recorded 298 alcohol-related fatalities, which accounted for a quarter of all traffic deaths.

We’re glad our law enforcement officials are publicizing their campaign against drinking and driving. We’re glad officers will be out on our roadways working to make them safer.

To all of those who will be having a drink during this holiday time: Enjoy yourself, but don’t drink and drive. First, it’s too dangerous for you and others. Second, chances are good you will get caught and find yourself in jail.

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