Thanksgiving Eve is one of the biggest party nights of the year, but local law enforcement is urging people to think before you drink. Our Eran Hami has the story.
As they do every year, law enforcement and the Mothers Against Drunk Driving stood in unity on Friday to kick off the Tie One On campaign. The annual red ribbon campaign urges motorists to tie a MADD ribbon to their vehicles to symbolize that they pledge to drive safe on the roadways, wear their seatbelt, and not drive impaired.
"It signifies that you are supporting us and telling people do not drink or use drugs and drive a car," said Pam Styer, MADD Coordinator. "We just want our community safe and that's our main thing. We want everyone to have a safe holiday and we want everyone to go home safe every day."
"It's very important to see such a wide range of agencies come together in a collaborative effort to send the same message and that is don't drive impaired, either by drugs or alcohol," said Lt. Tim Grigsby, Ohio State Highway Patrol. "At the end of the day, it affects not just the families of the people that are involved but it affects the entire community."
At the kick-off off event, MADD reminded how dangerous driving after doing drugs or drinking can be. MADD announced in 2018, there have been 13 fatalities in Allen County due to impaired driving with toxicology reports still outstanding. It was said impaired driving causes on average over 10,000 deaths a year. One person driving impaired effects more than just themselves.
"It all comes down to personal responsibility. Make good choices, plan ahead if you do that, you're more likely to make it home safely and not put the rest of the public in danger by being behind the wheel impaired," added Lt. Grigsby.
MADD continues to encourage people, this upcoming holiday season, to stay sober while driving, wear a seatbelt, and be a responsible party host including only serving those 21 years and older. The Allen County Sheriff's Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol also took the time at the event to announce increased enforcement for the week of Thanksgiving.