Thanksgiving weekend is the first in a series of fall and winter holidays that brings friends and families together. In the weeks that follow people will get together for holiday parties, Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day and eventually the Super Bowl on Feb. 6.
It's a fact of life that alcohol will play a part in many of those celebrations. And while responsible consumption of alcohol poses few problems the abuse of alcohol can be fatal.
Adding to the problem in Minnesota is the fact that the busy holiday season falls during a time when roads can often be glazed with ice or covered with snow, daylight hours are minimal and vehicle windows are often obscured by fog, ice or snow.
That's why the Crow Wing County Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is conducting its Tie One On for Safety holiday ribbon campaign, starting this week and continuing through New Year's Eve.
Motorists who join in the campaign will tie a red ribbon to a visible location on their vehicle as a symbol of their pledge to drive sober, safe and to buckle up. Crow Wing County MADD officials also use this campaign to raise money and attract volunteers in their efforts to stamp out drunken driving.
MADD officials said that nationwide, in 2003, 17,013 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes. In Minnesota, 657 people were killed in crashes, MADD reported, with 41 percent of those incidents involving alcohol. Crow Wing County was among the top 13 counties in Minnesota in alcohol-related crashes, MADD said.
MADD has many programs that require volunteer help. They include health fair and county fair booths, speakers, a poster/essay contest, court monitoring, victim assistance and a victims impact panel.
Enjoy the holidays but celebrate sensibly so the roads are safe for everyone to use.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.