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Drinking and driving is the best way to start a bad year

Published: Thu, December 31, 2009 @ 12:00 a.m.

Drinking and driving is the best way to start a bad year

After reading “None for the Road” in Tuesday’s Vindicator, a reader might conclude that the worst thing that could happen to a driver over the holiday weekend would be an arrest for drunken driving.

Reporter Peter Milliken listed the various expenses and inconveniences attached to an arrest for Driving Under the Influence — from the lawyer’s fee to the monthly charge for being on probation — and the grand total averaged $7,500.

What could be a more crushing holiday downer than that? How about being one of the drunken drivers who cheats the arresting officer, but loses to the grim reaper.

As expensive as an arrest will be this weekend for hundreds of drunken drivers in Ohio, it’s almost certain that a few will kill themselves tonight, and they’re likely to take innocent people with them.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol reports that during each of the last two years, 10 people died in six traffic crashes during the holiday weekend. In five out of the six crashes, the driver was impaired.

This carnage continues despite aggressive policing procedures by the patrol and local police departments, not just around the holidays, but throughout the year.

There has been improvement, to be sure, but any death due to a driver getting behind the wheel while impaired or intoxicated is avoidable.

Of course, no one sets out thinking they will be the one to kill or be killed. But some do.

No one turns the key believing he or she will get pulled over and locked up before getting home. But hundreds do.

Arrests by the hundreds

The state patrol reports 648 DUI arrests in Mahoning County so far this year, compared to 612 for the same period in 2008. In Trumbull County, it is 563, compared to 548 a year earlier.

The luckiest of them won’t be involved in an accident and will be first-time offenders who will spend three days in residential classroom setting rather than jail. And if they are smart, they will learn their lesson.

Those for whom once is not enough, the consequences get increasingly severe. Recently, Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Peter Kontos sentenced a 42-year-old Niles man to five years in jail for his sixth conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A driver who has five or more convictions within a 20-year period faces felony charges and up to 71‚Ñ2 years in prison. State law was beefed up and judges, aware of tragic cases in which habitual drunken drivers have killed innocent people, are giving fewer breaks than in years past.

Being arrested while drunk behind the wheel is much more likely to be a life-changing experience than it would have been in years past. There is nothing happy about a new year that begins with an arrest for drunken driving — or worse. So it’s a good idea for every reveler to make a resolution before leaving the house tonight that they either won’t drink, or they won’t drive.


1Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

Funeral home offers drunk drivers a free burial

ROME, Ga. (AP) -- Planning to drink and drive this New Year's? A north Georgia funeral home has a deal for you. Between now and noon Thursday, drivers can visit McGuire, Jennings and Miller Funeral Home in Rome to sign a contract stating they plan to drink or take drugs and then drive on New Year's Eve. If they die in a wreck that day, the funeral home will give them a free burial.

Services included in the package are a casket, grave, limousine and preparation of remains.

Funeral home officials said the program is designed to save lives by making partygoers think twice about drinking and driving.


Suggest removal:

2aeparish(669 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

. . .

The directors of that funeral home should be ashamed of themselves.

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3thepotstirrer(67 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

What is so wrong about offering free funeral services to the morons who drive drunk in Rome, GA? These nitwits have to enter into a contract today by 12PM stating their intentions. Is it too crazy to think the Rome Police Department might be keeping an eye on the citizens who show up at this establishment to sign the contract?

Those that should be ashamed of themselves, are the thoughtless douche bags who will be driving drunk this weekend. Here is a wild and crazy idea, find a designated driver!! Then there will be no innocent people murdered by a lazy slob who thinks he/she can drive home after boozing.

Use some common sense and Happy New Year.

Best Regards,

Suggest removal:

4Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

"Drinking and driving is the best way to start a bad year"

You bet !

Millions of drunks nationwide will do it anyhow tonight .

Suggest removal:

5VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

I wonder how full our jails are this morning?

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6Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

Are any poles down on Market Street ?

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7Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago


I don't know of any poles down on Market Street, but I know of plenty of Irishmen."

Well that figures . Their comsumption of alcohol is on par with the Russians . I sure hope that those Irishmen who fell over made it inside before they froze . They are keeping the bars in business and Youngstown needs the tax revenue .

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