MDOT urges sober holiday driving

While the end of the year brings about the merriment of the holiday season, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) wants everyone to be safe on the roads, traveling to and from parties and vacation destinations. If your plans include alcohol, make a resolution to refrain from impaired driving.

“Driving while under the influence puts everyone on the road at risk,” said Melinda McGrath, P.E., MDOT Executive Director. “Protect yourself and your loved ones by avoiding impaired driving and having a plan for a sober ride.”

In 2019, 10,142 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. On average, more than 10,000 people were killed each year since 2014. These fatalities are preventable, and drivers must remember that driving impaired by any substance — alcohol or other drugs — is illegal and potentially deadly behavior.

Here are some tips from MDOT that can help motorists arrive at their destination safely: 

·     If you drink alcohol or are otherwise impaired, 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 people on the road. If you suspect someone is driving impaired, call the police when it is safe to do so.

“Hindsight is 2020. Making good decisions about driving and being responsible will help you have a safe New Year’s Eve and start 2021 with a clean slate,” said McGrath.

For more tips on traveling safely this holiday season, visit

For real-time travel and traffic information, visit, download the free MDOT Traffic app or like and follow @MississippiDOT on Facebook and Twitter.

Mississippi Department of Transportation news release

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob is also heard on 95.3 The Rebel twice a week with sports updates and high school football play-by-play broadcasts in the fall. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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