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(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – The Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition and the Tuscarawas County Safe Communities Coalition is sending an important reminder to Thanksgiving travelers, be smart and don’t drink and drive.

Many are eager to return to a more traditional holiday celebration with family and friends this year and that may include celebrating with a drink. However, the organizations are asking that individuals think ahead and plan to have a safe way home before clinking glasses.

From 2017-2020 60% of the fatal crashes in Tuscarawas County involved impairment. And nationally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports on average one person was killed in a drunk driving crash every 52 minutes in 2019. These are tragic outcomes that can be avoided.

“Even one drink can impair judgement,” explained Kelly Snyder, Health Educator and Safe Communities Coordinator for the Tuscarawas County Health Department. “You should never put yourself or others at risk because you made the choice to drink and drive. Even one drink can be one too many. Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.”

Always remember to plan ahead if you will be celebrating. If you plan to drink, ensure you have a sober driver to take you home. If it’s your turn to be the designated driver, take that role seriously and do not consume alcohol, not even one drink.

Additionally, if you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement and never be afraid to intervene if you have a friend that is about to drink and drive.

“At times messages like this can seem repetitive and obvious, but all too often we are continuing to see lives taken by avoidable tragedies,” added Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition Coordinator, Jodi Salvo. “We hope that these simple reminders resonate with our community and generate a pause before making a decision that could cost them or others their lives.”

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