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MADD Encourages Safe Holiday Celebrations

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If you are traveling this holiday season, MADD's president urges you to make a sober decision about how to get home safely.

Nationwide, as many as 800 people die in car crashes involving a drunk driver every December.

It's why this month is one of the most dangerous times on the nation's roads and why organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving are working hard to make sure people take precautions so they don't hurt themselves or someone else.

"We know too much now,” stresses Jan Withers, MADD’s national president. “We all know about designated drivers. We all know the dangers, but the key is not to decide after you've had some alcohol in your system.

“We really need to make a sober decision – before we ever start drinking – how we're going to get home safely," adds Withers.

In Kentucky, 168 people died in 2012 in drunk-driving accidents, 23 percent of the state's traffic deaths.

Withers says in addition to planning for your own safe ride home, it's important to evaluate the alcohol intake of your friends before letting them leave a holiday party, and don't be afraid to prevent them from getting behind the wheel.

Withers knows first-hand the devastation drunk driving can cause, having lost her daughter to a drunk driver 23 years ago.

"Some days it seems like yesterday because the pain is so intense, and sometimes of course it seems like a lifetime ago, but indeed, the hole in my heart never goes away," she relates.

MADD wants Kentucky lawmakers to mandate ignition interlocks for drivers who have been convicted of drunk driving in the past.

The organization says studies have shown ignition interlocks can decrease repeat offenses by 67 percent.

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