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A Day to Pay Tribute to Those Hurt by Drunk Driving

Thursday is a National Day of Remembrance to honor those killed by drunk driving. Credit Jusben/Morguefile
Thursday is a National Day of Remembrance to honor those killed by drunk driving. Credit Jusben/Morguefile
December 3, 2015

LANSING, Mich. - While the holidays are generally a time of great joy, celebrating the season can be difficult for the victims and survivors of drunk driving crashes. Today, Mothers Against Drunk Driving Michigan is honoring lives lost by impaired driving with a National Day of Remembrance.

Tyler MacEachran, program director with MADD in Michigan, says an alarming number of lives are impacted by drunk driving during the holiday season.

"That just really increases the risk that people are going to consume the alcohol and then not make a safe decision," says MacEachran. "It's definitely the most intense period of the year with the most drunk driving crashes, the most fatalities and the most injuries resulting from it."

He says between Thanksgiving to New Year in 2013 there were 846 drunk driving fatalities across the country. To pay tribute to those killed by an impaired driver, a virtual place-setting can be personalized online at MADD.org.

Two hundred fifty-five people were killed and over 4,600 injured in alcohol-related car crashes in 2013 in Michigan. MacEachran explains many of those accidents could be avoided if people would plan ahead and have a designated driver. He adds there are also ride-sharing options.

"If you're at a party or if you're out in the community and you've had some drinks that you weren't planning on," says MacEachran. "So you don't have a designated driver in place you can go on an app or call a cab to get yourself home safely so that you're not putting yourself at risk or putting others at risk."

He also encourages people to recognize their responsibility when they are hosting a holiday gathering by offering plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages, having a sober driver on hand to drive guests home, and being prepared to take the keys if someone is impaired.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - MI