Christmas shopping. Travel. Distant relatives. The quest to find that one broken bulb on an impossibly tangled string of lights.

Sometimes it may seem there’s a host of holiday frustrations tempting us to overdo it on the 21-and-over version of eggnog during the Christmas season. And while there’s certainly nothing wrong with relaxing with a glass of wine or enjoying yourself at a Christmas party, it is vitally important not to get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking

It is, of course, the law — and nobody wants to spend Christmas in jail. But that’s a far better alternative than some of the other places drunk driving will land you, such as the hospital.

Or a cemetery.

Celebrating responsibly is a matter of life and death — literally.

According to information from the

Texas Department of Transportation, there were 3,342 fatal traffic accidents in Texas in 2017. Of those, 910 — more than 36 percent — were caused by drunken drivers. The agency says that someone in Texas is hurt or killed in an alcohol-related accident every 20 minutes.

Notice that doesn’t say “a drunken driver is hurt or killed” — driving under the influence takes the lives of innocents every single day.

Those numbers are frightening enough, but consider that AAA Texas estimates some 9.1 million Lone Star State residents will be hitting the road for holiday travel.

That’s a lot of drivers to look out for, and more cars on the road means more accidents — even without adding alcohol into the mix. But if that proves insufficient motivation, consider that some of those additional cars will be sporting lights and sirens.

The Kerrville Police Department, Kerr County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Public Safety troopers and other law enforcement agencies will be out in force looking for drivers who have over-indulged.

It’s one thing to make Santa’s naughty list — you don’t want to make theirs, too.

And with ride-sharing services and cab companies, there’s no reason to drive at all if you suspect you might be even slightly impaired.

A handful of local towing companies are even offering drivers a sort of “stay out of jail free” card in the form of “tipsy tows” — a program that offers Kerrville drivers, and their vehicles, a free lift home.

Celebrate responsibly. There’s is no greater gift you could give your loved ones this Christmas then the opportunity to spend it with you — safe and sound.

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