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"What are you doing for New Year's?"
There's a good chance you have been asked or will be asked that question some time in the next few days. We hope that you do something you'll enjoy, whether it's dancing the night away, toasting the new year with friends and family or just spending a quiet night at home.
For those of you who are adults, we know that alcohol may be part of your celebration. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a few drinks, but please do so responsibly.
We've had more reminders than we need in recent months about the potential consequences of drinking and driving. The motions reported in this week's paper should serve as the most serious reminder of all. Last week, Tabitha Hutchinson, 28, pled guilty to manslaughter as a result of a drunk driving accident that occurred on July 14, 2009. Hutchinson's car collided with another vehicle. A pregnant woman was in the other vehicle, and sadly, tragically, the baby died the following day.
As Hutchinson's experience demonstrates, there are potentially far worse consequences than getting arrested for DUI if you choose to drink and drive.
We would rather start 2011 on a positive note, and we hope you do, too. If we could have our preference, we would rather spend New Year's Day working on resolutions (which admittedly we'll probably break) rather than trying to get the details of another unfortunate accident.
If you are under 21, please, don't drink at all.
If you are over 21, please make plans in advance if you are planning to include alcohol in your New Year's Eve celebrations. Choose a designated driver or celebrate somewhere where you know you can spend the night.
Enjoy your celebration, and try to make it one to remember for all the right reasons.