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Party safely this New Year#039;s Eve, designate a driver

As much of the world prepares to celebrate at New Year's Eve parties, here in Crenshaw County we must take the time to offer words of caution to those who choose to drink as they ring in 2005.

It's quite simple.

If you drink, don't drive. If you’re heading to a party, make sure you have a designated driver and if you don't, make arrangements to stay the night.

As the host of

party, be sure your guests have a way home or can stay overnight. Also, make sure there’s plenty of food available, especially high-protein food, and have non-alcoholic beverages for designated drivers. You should also stop serving alcohol 90 minutes before the party ends. Also, make one person the bartender and have him or her serve drinks all night so he can monitor alcohol intake.

If you’re on the road, be on the lookout for drunk or drugged drivers. Signs include speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, or driving on the shoulder of the road. If you see such a driver, don’t try to pass them; call 911 on your cell phone to report them to the police.

The Crenshaw County Sheriff's Office and local law enforcement will be out in full force on New Year's Eve and will be prepared to arrest anyone who has chosen to drive while intoxicated.

Do you really want to ring in the New Year in a jail cell?

Our advice is to go somewhere to celebrate and stay. Pack a bag with a change of clothes and your other necessities and spend the night with a friend or loved one. A party is not worth dying for.

If you're one of those people that hang out with the same crowd every holiday, including New Year's, appoint a designated driver each year to ensure everyone gets home safely. If you care about yourself and your friends and family, this is an easy rule to follow that could save lives.

If you have heard all of this before, it for good reason, if it helps save one life during the holidays, then it is worth it.

We know that this is not a perfect society and that there will be those who will do exactly the opposite of everything we've suggested. Here's hoping that before they can hurt anyone, they get caught.

New Year's is intended to be the celebration of ringing in the New Year and we do not wish for anyone to have to mark the memory of a loved one lost to drunk driving ever year.

We also don't want someone to sit in prison for not obeying the law.