Let’s prove Darwin wrong this week. Let’s agree, as we prepare to celebrate the New Year, to not kill ourselves (or others) doing stupid things.
That means no drinking and driving, no shooting guns into the air in celebration, and no drunken fights at parties.
Forget survival of the fittest. Let’s all survive. Let’s keep our 2013 from being (for ourselves, at least), in the words of Thomas Hobbes, nasty, brutish and short.
There are plenty of reasons not to drink and drive. Many of them have badges.
Smith County Sheriff’s deputies, Tyler Police Department officers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers will be out in force in an effort to cut down drunken driving.
The Texas Department of Public Safety will conduct focused DWI patrols in high-risk locations, according to a DPS statement.
“Historically, the holiday season brings an increased potential for drinking and driving incidents, and these enhanced DPS patrols will help save lives,” says DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Impaired driving can easily turn a holiday celebration into a tragic situation. By designating a sober driver or finding alternative transportation if drinking alcohol is expected, Texans can do their part in keeping our roadways safe and making the holidays memorable for the right reasons.”
On the weekend before New Year’s Eve through New Year’s Day, a multi-joint effort between the Smith County District Attorney’s Office and police agencies from all over Smith County will participate in the No- Refusal DWI campaign once again.
Upon the arrest of a suspected drunken driver, he or she will be asked if they would submit to blowing into a breath-test machine or take a blood test. If the driver refuses and says no, officers will obtain an immediate search warrant signed by a judge on call to have blood drawn by a nurse on staff at the Smith County Jail, say the Tyler police. The blood is then analyzed to determine whether the driver’s blood-alcohol concentration is 0.08 or lower, the legal limit for driving in Texas.
Another stupid holiday tradition is shooting guns into the air in celebration. The bullets don’t magically disappear, you know. Injuries occur when those bullets fall to earth and that’s just when the guns are pointed up.
Many injuries and deaths happen because rifles, shotguns and pistols are simply pointed in another direction, with no thought given to what s in their path.
In Dallas 2009, there were 1,564 reports of random gunfire. Seriously, police have enough to do on New Year’s Eve without having to chase down armed party-goers who seem determined to shrink the human gene pool.
Finally, let’s all avoid those Jan. 2 headlines about fatal stabbings and shootings at New Year’s Eve parties. They’re all too common, but not inevitable.
Let’s remember the reason for the celebration the start of a brand new year, with a clean slate and a whole new set of possibilities.