By Ken Striplin
It’s hard to believe that 2018 will be behind us in just two more days. I hope you have many festive celebrations planned to usher in 2019, but I want to remind you to celebrate safe.
This New Year’s Eve, do your part to make sure our city streets are safe for everyone traveling throughout our community. I urge you to practice caution on the roadways, report drunk drivers and plan ahead. If you are going out, make sure to designate a sober driver in advance, keep a taxi phone number handy, your Uber or Lyft app ready to go or simply stay in to avoid driving altogether. If you are designated as the sober driver, you should practice extra precaution by staying alert. As always, all drivers should buckle up and encourage other riders to do the same.
Our dedicated Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, as well as CHP officers, will be extra vigilant over the New Year’s holiday. Even though local law enforcement does their best to try and prevent tragedy on the roadways, there will still be a number of people who make the unfortunate decision to drink and drive. The goal is to make sure those who are driving under the influence are stopped and arrested before they cause harm to themselves or others.
Driving under the influence can not only result in injury or death, but DUI arrests also have serious financial repercussions. Depending on the severity of the incident, DUI fines can sometimes total more than $10,000. This is in addition to the fact that driving drunk could also cost someone else their life. A DUI doesn’t go away either – convictions can hold long standing consequences including jail time, the loss of your driver’s license, higher car insurance rates and serious damage to your hard-earned reputation.
Here are a few things to remember when celebrating, not just this New Year’s Eve, but always:
-Just one drink can impair your judgement and increase the risk of an accident.
-If you plan to drink, plan ahead and designate a responsible sober driver.
-If you drink, do not drive. Call a taxi, Uber, Lyft, friend or family member.
-Be a good friend and neighbor and look out for others. Keep those who are drinking from getting behind the wheel.
-If you see something, say something. Report concerning drivers to 9-1-1.
Driving safe and responsibly is important year round, not just during the holidays. That’s why the City’s Heads Up campaign is so important. We can all do our part to make our streets safer. A big part of that is avoiding distracted driving. Texting while behind the wheel is dangerous – and our Sheriff motor deputies are always nearby ready to write you a ticket. For more information on being a heads up driver please visit santa-clarita.com/HeadsUp.
Please remember, one drink could cost you your life or claim someone else’s. Celebrate safely Santa Clarita – so we can all enjoy a happy 2019.