As Sunland residents usher in a new year next week, area law enforcement is issuing a reminder of the consequences that can come with drunk driving.

Beatrice Police Chief Bruce Lang said the legal alcohol limit allowed for driving, .08, is relatively low, and that alcohol can impact the body quicker than many realize.

In those moments, it’s crucial to make the responsible decision to not get behind the wheel.

“If you drink and drive, the consequences are bad,” Lang said. “That’s an understatement. If you do that and are arrested, that goes on your record and stays with you for a very long time. It impacts lots of different things in life, not to mention the huge cost associated with a drunk driving conviction.”

While the costs associated with a drunk driving conviction can add up, he added they’re nothing compared to the implications of causing a crash.

“The more important thing is you don’t want to be the cause of someone else’s or your own injures,” he said. “Drunk driving could result in an accident that could hurt or kill innocent people or yourself.”

Lang added that anyone who suspects a driver is drunk should contact authorities.

While authorities are urging residents to use caution and make sure they have a safe ride home this New Year’s Eve, Lang added that problems stemming from the holiday have declined over the years.

“Over the last few years, people have taken that to heart and we have far fewer calls on New Year’s Eve than we did years ago,” Lang said. “Really, now it’s not nearly as serious of an event, or dangerous as is thought by the public. People seem to do a good job getting rides home and making sure they have a designated driver home.”

He hopes this trend continues, and that people celebrating with alcohol continue to use caution to ensure they have a safe start to 2018.

“There’s lots of options, whether it’s a designated driver from your group, or some of the other commercial type things that are made available to you,” Lang said. “We encourage you to use those things.”

Reach Scott Koperski at scott.koperski@beatricedailysun.com. Follow him on Twitter @ScottKoperski.

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