Today’s Editorial for December 31: Don’t end 2008 on a sour note

We’ve almost made it through what has been a very challenging year in the Cayman Islands. Although the challenges look like they’ll continue in 2009, we hope everyone ends 2008 on a good note, enjoying New Year’s Eve.

One sure way of ending 2008 on a sour note would be by getting a DUI on New Year’s Eve.

Many people like to enjoy some alcoholic drinks on New Year’s Eve, but those who plan to drink should not get behind the steering wheel of a car. If they do, they are not only risking getting caught by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, but also the possibility of an alcohol-impaired accident.

Getting caught by the RCIPS is a real possibility for those who are drinking and driving these days. The police have stepped up their efforts to catch drink drivers by sending out proactive teams to patrol areas near bars, especially at closing time. The RCIPS has promised to maintain the approach through the New Year’s period.

To help promote responsible drinking and road safety during the holiday season, the Hurley’s Entertainment Group, with support from several businesses, has encouraged residents to take the Purple Ribbon Pledge, which states: ‘I pledge to do my part in keeping the roads of Cayman safe this holiday season. I will not drink and drive and will do my best to ensure that friends and family drive safely.’

Many Cayman residents have placed purple ribbon magnets on their cars to show their support for the pledge.

We at Cayman Free Press also encourage responsible drinking habits and road safety not only during the holiday season, but during the entire year.

There are many options to drinking and driving. One option is public transportation like taxi cabs. Another option is having a designated driver, a person in the vehicle who does not or will not drink alcohol on a particular evening and who will drive everyone home safely at the end of the night. The other option is just to stay home if you plan to drink on New Year’s Eve, and perhaps host a gathering of your own.

Hosts of parties also have their roles in ensuring safe driving during the holidays. Those that have guests that have been drinking and have no designated driver to get home can offer to have their guests spend the night.

Another thing hosts can do is insist their drinking guests take a taxi home, and even offer to pay the fare if need be. Even if their guests are hesitant, the hosts should remember that their guests will think their party was terrible if they end up getting a DUI or getting into an accident on the way home.

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