The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 5, 2013

Our View: Stay sober, stay safe

The Joplin Globe

— Celebrating our independence is a wonderful freedom we enjoy. But those who mix their drinks with driving are apt to lose that freedom — at least temporarily — if they get pulled over.

Sobriety checkpoints are being conducted throughout the area, and law enforcement officers are making no secret about the fact that they will be saturating the streets and highways with patrolmen looking for drunken drivers.

Four people were killed and 21 were seriously injured in Missouri traffic crashes over the Fourth of July holiday weekend in 2012. Two of the fatalities and five of the serious injuries involved drunken drivers.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety offers tips for avoiding a drunken-driving disaster:

• Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.

• Before drinking, designate a sober driver.

• If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.

• If you see a drunken driver on the road, don’t hesitate to call 911.

• Always wear your seat belt. It’s your best defense in any traffic crash.

Think of it this way: If you drive drunk, your actions could kill other motorists, passengers in your car, or even yourself.

That’s no way to celebrate our freedom.