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Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Make sure to start new year responsibly

By By the Advocate Editorial Board
Dec. 30, 2013 at 6:30 a.m.


New Year's Eve is upon us. As people prepare for a new year and plan their resolutions, we know many people will be out greeting the new year at parties, many of which will serve alcoholic drinks.

We hope everyone enjoys themselves as 2013 draws to a close and 2014 begins, but we also encourage our readers to be cautious and plan ahead if they intend to imbibe during the celebrations. Before you take that first sip of champagne, know how you plan to get home at the end of the night.

According to an article in AutoGuide.com, a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that New Year's Day, from the time the countdown to the new year ends, is the worst day for drunk driving accidents. Thankfully, Citizens Medical Center is once again offering its Make Our Area Safe for the Holidays, or M*ASH, program by partnering with Cesar's Taxi and Limousine to offer free taxi rides home from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Jan. 1. This is the program's 31st year serving the Victoria community, and we are grateful for the many years of service ensuring that revelers have a safe, reliable option to take them home. We applaud Citizens and Cesar's Taxis for their commitment to community safety by reducing the number of drunken drivers on our streets.

But the M*ASH program is not the only option for safely beginning the new year. Party-goers can ensure their own safety through a few simple options. A designated driver can be chosen beforehand to make sure someone is always sober. If you want to go out in style, consider hiring a limousine service for you and your friends. Or if you are attending a party at or near a hotel, consider getting a room and spending the night there.

Safety is an important concern that can be easily disregarded or forgotten during this time of celebration and setting goals for positive change. As we say goodbye to 2013, let's all remember to begin 2014 with joy and anticipation, not recklessness and regret.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

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