Police say don't start 2018 on bad note by drinking and driving

Police say don't start 2018 on bad note by drinking and driving

TRI-CITIES, Wash. — Before heading out to your New Years Eve celebrations, police are warning you not to get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. They warn Sunday is not the night to test limits, whether its yours or theirs..

Pasco Police Sgt. Brad Gregory said PPD has extra eyes on the road watching for dangerous drivers Sunday night.

"People have a tendency to not think before they go celebrate,” he said. “And don't make a plan to get home, and then they think its okay to drive.”

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism report you’re 2-3 times more likely to die in an alcohol-related crash during the holidays.

Statistics like these are why Kennewick Police Officer Avery Smith said even experienced drinkers need to find a designated driver before heading out.

”Your reaction time is impaired,” she said. “So you're not going to see things that you normally would or you're not going to react, You’re going to take greater risks because you don't weigh the odds like you normally would [when] unimpaired."

The legal blood-alcohol limit in Washington is .08 percent.

"That doesn't mean that if you're under .08 you can't be arrested,” said Officer Smith.

She said if you’re stopped for driving irresponsibly, blowing less than the legal limit isn’t an automatic pass.

But Sgt. Gregory said he doesn’t wan’t party-goers to look at it as a game of cat-and-mouse.

"It's not just because you don't want to get caught,” he said. “It’s because you're putting other people in danger. By drinking and driving, you're making yourself a weapon."

That’s why he wants you to think about getting home before you head out tonight, even if you only plan on having one beer.

Because it’s too easy for ‘just one beer’ to turn into more.

"You could hurt somebody,” said the Sergeant. “You could kill somebody, and I don't care if you're charged criminally or not, that's going to be something that affects you for the rest of your life no matter what. This is something you really need to think about before you get behind the wheel of a car."

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