An accident this year involving drunken driving was tragic in many respects.
In May, an 18-year-old Rock Hill man, driving under the influence, ran into three motorcyclists, killing one and severely injuring two others. One of the injured suffered significant brain damage, while another received more than 200 stitches to repair damage to her leg and head.
The driver pleaded guilty earlier this month to felony DUI involving a death and two counts of felony DUI involving great bodily injury. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
The consequences of that one act are horrendous, even for the driver who caused the wreck. We hope that serves as a warning to all, especially during the holiday season when many of us will attend parties where alcohol is served.
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First, if you are going to celebrate with alcohol, please use a designated driver. Also, don't let friends drive if they have had too much to drink. Drive them home, call them a taxi or let them sleep it off on the couch.
South Carolina perennially has one of the nation's highest rates of traffic deaths. And, statistically, South Carolina drivers are significantly more likely than those in most other states to die in alcohol-related traffic accidents.
In addition to the physical hazards, drunken drivers also face the risk of a run-in with the law. A DUI charge is a serious, life-altering offense.
We want everyone to have a happy, festive holiday season. Please don't ruin it for yourself or others by drinking and driving.