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MDOT encourages drivers to Ring in 2020 responsibly

The decade is coming to a close next week, and the Mississippi Department of Transportation is encouraging everyone to think before they get behind the wheel on New Year’s Eve.

While everyone has their sights set on ringing in 2020, MDOT is urging all motorists to have a New Year’s resolution of no drinking and driving.

“MDOT’s goal, no matter what year it is, remains the same – zero fatalities from drunk driving,” said Melinda McGrath, P.E. and executive director of MDOT. “Driving while under the influence of alcohol puts everyone on the road at risk. Protect yourself and your loved ones by always avoiding alcohol when you drive.”

According to a new study released by SafeWise, Mississippi ranks as the fourth-most dangerous state for impaired driving. The study showed that there are 5.46 deaths for every 100,000 people in Mississippi.

Montana ranked as the most dangerous state, according to SafeWise’s study, with Wyoming, South Carolina, New Mexico, South Dakota, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas rounding out the top 10.

To help prevent any accidents on New Year’s Eve, SafeWise is offering $10 Lyft codes to the first 100 people who sign up for residents in the top 10 states. The code must be applied for by Dec. 30 and can be done so by visiting www.safewise.com/blog/safewise-for-safe-rides-home/.

“Being safe this New Year’s Eve and making it to next year can be as simple as being responsible and making good decisions,” McGrath said.

MDOT provided tips that can help motorists arrive at their New Year’s Eve parties and back home safely:

  • If you drink alcohol, do not get behind the wheel for any reason. Make sure you have a designated driver or a taxi to take you home.
  • Hand your keys over to a trusted friend or family member at the beginning of the night before the first drink. This removes any temptations of thinking you are okay to drive.
  • Avoid all distractions. Concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • Be aware of other drivers. Don’t assume everyone is driving as safely as you are.
  • Impaired drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but also to other innocent drivers on the road. If you suspect someone is driving drunk, call the police when it is safe to do so.