MCSO reminds drivers to celebrate safely this holiday season

The holiday season has arrived with cheerful music, colder weather and holiday festivities. Many holiday parties involve alcohol, and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office District 6 – Queen Creek encourages residents to celebrate safely this holiday season.

To help raise awareness that that driving with any alcohol in your system can be dangerous, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched the Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving campaign. The campaign aims to inform all Americans about the dangers of driving after drinking — even after drinking just a little.

In 2015, 10,265 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes across the nation. The holiday season is especially dangerous due to the celebrations and frequent parties.

In 2015, nearly one-third of people killed in crashes involved alcohol, both in Arizona and in the U.S.

“It is always important to identify a designated driver or make arrangements to get home safely if you plan to go out and drink,” stated MCSO Queen Creek District Captain Dave Munley. “Being the designated driver doesn’t mean just having a few; it means not consuming any alcohol or drugs for the safety of those depending on you and everyone else on the road. Help keep the community safe for everyone this holiday season.”

MCSO Queen Creek urges you to plan ahead and remember the following tips to avoid a DUI and keep the roads safe during the holidays:

  • Even one drink can impair your judgment and reaction time. One drink can also increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk or having a crash.
  • If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving.  Plan ahead; designate a sober driver before the party begins.
  • When you know you’ll be drinking, leave your keys at home or give them to someone who is sober.
  • If you have been drinking, do not drive — even a short distance. Use Uber or Lyft, phone a sober friend or family member or find out if your insurance provides tow service. Try NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, which allows users to call a taxi or a friend by identifying their location so they can be picked up.
  • Walking while impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local MCSO Queen Creek when it is safe to do so.
  • If you see someone you think is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them get home safely. You are doing it for their safety and everyone else on the road.

To report suspicious behavior, call MCSO’s non-emergency number at 602-876-1011. In an emergency, call 9-1-1.

MCSO District 6 – Queen Creek is at 22308 S. Ellsworth Road. For additional information about MCSO, visit QueenCreek.org/MCSO.

Editor’s note: Constance Halonen-Wilson is the public information officer for the town of Queen Creek.

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