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Too Much New Year's Cheer Can Turn Into Tragedy

December 29, 2008

Detroit, MI - Ringing in the new year typically involves resolutions, celebrating with family and friends and toasting to good health, good times and to the year ahead.

However, New Year's celebrating can turn deadly when it includes too much alcohol.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has been pushing for responsible celebrations since 1980. Southeast Michigan executive director, Richard Rondeau, says staying alive is a matter of common sense.

"Don't think you're going to be the one who's going to go out there and beat the law of averages. If you drink and drive, you're going to get caught. And if you don't get caught, you'll probably go out and hurt somebody or kill somebody--maybe yourself."

Rondeau said MADD has convinced at least 40 states to mandate that first-time offenders have an ignition interlock installed on vehicles to keep them from driving while intoxicated. Rondeau, who had two relatives killed by a drunk driver 18 years ago, said drinking responsibly is as simple as having a designated driver or calling a cab.

Rondeau notes that last year more than 14,000 alcohol-related tragedies occurred in the United States.

"That's more than a thousand times a month that somebody gets a knock on the door or a phone call that lets them know their loved one is not coming home. It's just a matter of using common sense."

Tony Bruscato, Public News Service - MI