The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 30, 2011

EPD, GCSO are setting up New Year’s Eve checkpoints to stop drinking and driving

Enid News and Eagle

— Don’t drink and drive.

It’s a simple message, but, unfortunately, one too many people choose to ignore, especially this time of year.

During the last New Year’s holiday period eight people died in six fatality crashes in Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. Five of those people were killed in alcohol-related crashes.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,839 people died in 2009 in accidents involving drivers or motorcycle riders who had blood alcohol levels above the legal limit.

In an attempt to save lives, Enid Police Department and Garfield County Sheriff’s Office will have a sobriety checkpoint set up somewhere in Enid from 10 p.m. tonight until 4 a.m. Sunday. Their goal is to prevent people from drinking and driving and hopefully prevent some accidents.

Drunken driving doesn’t just happen. It’s a choice — a really bad choice — a person makes. It’s an action that doesn’t have to happen, and it can be prevented so easily.

In Enid, New Year’s Eve partiers have a couple of ways they can avoid problems. One is to use a designated driver, someone who will abstain from alcohol and will drive the others home safely.

Another way is to use the services of Enid Transit. Enid Transit will provide free rides home for anyone who calls 233-7433 from 9 p.m. tonight until 2 a.m. Sunday.

The free rides are only for trips home. Enid Transit will not take people from one bar or party to another.

The service is sponsored by the Lori Boland Memorial SADD Chapter at Enid High School. Lori’s parents, Jerry and Flora Boland, know something about the tragedy that can happen when people drink and drive: Their daughter was killed 15 years ago in an alcohol-related accident.

Don’t become a statistic. Don’t drink and drive.