By Ashley Graves
The Cullman Times
As 2012 comes to a close, local law enforcement officials are offering a simple piece of advice for those planning to usher in the new year.
Don’t drink and drive.
Cullman Police Chief Kenny Culpepper said his agency will be out in full force with extra patrols this holiday weekend, cracking down on impaired drivers.
“It should be on everybody’s mind that you’ll be arrested if you drink and drive,” Culpepper said.”
He encouraged those who plan to go out and celebrate to get a designated driver. He added, “If you are the designated drive, keep an eye on friends,” he said. “The first thing to go when drinking is judgment.”
Sheriff Mike Rainey said his department will place extra patrols on county roadways through the holiday, watching for drunk drivers and other hazards.
“Oh, absolutely, we’ll be using extra patrols,” Rainey said Thursday. “We’ve even got a little grant money we’re going to use to put more officers out there to work traffic. We’ll be looking for speeders and impaired drivers.”
According to a recent analysis conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, during the last decade, the years’ highest number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities occur on New Year’s Day. To save lives and promote safe driving this New Year’s Eve, AAA Alabama and wrecker services across the state will once again offer Tow-for Life. The public service program provides free towing services to keep impaired drivers off the road. This is the 26th year for the program, and the service is provided to AAA members and non-members alike.
It begins at 6 p.m. today and concludes at 6 a.m. New Year’s Day.
“This is the most dangerous time of the year to be on the roads,” said Clay Ingram, a spokesperson for AAA Alabama. “We want to raise awareness and encourage people to plan ahead when going on out New Year’s Eve. It is important to make arrangements before you go out, so that you aren’t making these decisions after you have been drinking. We want to help keep impaired drivers off the roads.”
Those wishing to receive free towing on New Year’s Eve should call AAA Alabama at 1-800-222-4357. Towing is provided at no charge up to 10 miles.
Ashley Graves can be reached by phone at 734-2131, ext. 225, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org