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It's the Most Dangerous Time of the Year

PHOTO: Party hosts should not hesitate to intervene to prevent a guest from driving while drunk. That's the message to Wyomingites from MADD. Photo courtesy of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
PHOTO: Party hosts should not hesitate to intervene to prevent a guest from driving while drunk. That's the message to Wyomingites from MADD. Photo courtesy of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
December 31, 2014

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - About 140 people have died on Wyoming roads this year, a big jump from the 87 deaths last year. About one-third of deaths are alcohol-related, and the Wyoming Highway Patrol is focusing on "not one more," with stepped-up patrols for the New Year celebrations.

Jan Withers, national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, encouraged party hosts to intervene if a guest has had too much to drink and is about to get behind the wheel.

"People are hesitant to do that," she said. "And I remember I used to be hesitant to do that, thinking, 'Oh, I don't want to get involved,' or, 'They're going to be upset with me.' But I totally look at it differently now."

Withers suggested that sober transportation options be part of holiday party planning.

"Ideas like phone numbers for alternative transportation, or make plans with their friends on how to get home safely," she said. "And a couple of hours before the end of the night, make sure you're not serving alcohol anymore."

WHP reports that although there has been a spike in the number of deaths this year, the overall trend since 1994 has been fewer deaths. A WHP statement on fatalities is online at whp.dot.state.wy.us.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - WY