Avoid a few too many

Published 7:42 pm Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It’s summertime, a time for sun and fun, family adventures and getting out on the river. And the biggest summertime holiday is right around the corner.

Fourth of July is our given day to remember the day in a burgeoning nation’s history when our ancestors claimed independence.

It’s a day to celebrate, and while celebration can take many forms, if you’re planning on driving to or from a given celebration, don’t celebrate by drinking.

Every year, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program sponsors a campaign to crack down on drunken driving. It’s called Booze It & Lose It; and every year around this time, plenty of people across the state, though warned, booze it and, indeed, lose it. Their licenses, that is — at least for a certain amount of time.

Last year, 1,937 North Carolina drivers were arrested for drunken driving between June 29 and July 9. Most years, that many or more people are arrested for having one, or a few, too many, getting behind the wheel and taking off, meanwhile taking chances with lives and, at the very least, their right to drive.

Over the next couple of weeks, all across the state, saturation patrols will be hitting the road. Checkpoints will be set up. The odds of getting caught drinking and driving drastically drop.

So what happens when you drink and drive? The embarrassment of an arrest, for one thing, compounded by that of court appearances. The going rate for a DWI conviction is about $20,000, not to mention insurance premiums sky-rocketing. But then there’s not being able to drive (except, perhaps, to and from work), curfews and mandatory alcohol counseling.

This Fourth of July, make a rule: if you’ve been drinking, don’t drive. Even one drink — don’t drive. It’s just not worth it.