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Watch out for drinking and distractions this Memorial Day

Memorial day is approaching on May 25, and with it comes the risk of DUI crashes. South Carolina's authorities take this risk seriously, often setting up sobriety checkpoints and sending out additional patrols throughout the Memorial Day weekend.

Did you know that the National Safety Council believes that Memorial Day weekend is the most deadly holiday for car crashes? In 2019, the safety council estimated that at least 380 people would be killed on the roadways. Many of those incidents could have involved alcohol.

In Charleston, South Carolina, the city found itself ranked among the most dangerous in the U.S. due to its dangerous drivers over the Memorial Day weekend. A study by Cambridge Mobile Telematics found that Charleston ranked as the fourth-most dangerous city in the United States for driving over that weekend, in this case, as a result of distracted drivers. Distractions can be caused by anything from rubbernecking to look at another crash to having no focus because of intoxication.

What can you do to avoid trouble over drunk or distracted driving this Memorial Day weekend?

If you want to avoid a DUI or any kind of traffic ticket, it is a good idea to make sure you stay sober and put down your devices. If you drive while you're intoxicated, you will be more easily distracted and could make mistakes that lead to a serious crash. Similarly, if you have a phone on hand or are distracted by eating behind the wheel, you could make mistakes that lead to a crash.

There are other options for you to get to where you want to go if you can't drive safely yourself. From taking a ride-share service like Uber or Lyft to asking a sober friend to drive for you, these options are excellent ways to stay out of trouble and on the right side of the law.

With busy, congested streets from incoming visitors, it's important that you do what you can to stay alert if you need to drive. Plan your route in advance, and schedule your trip for times when traffic may not be as busy. Don't drink, and make sure you do have enough water to keep hydrated on the road. If you find that you're distracted, drowsy or may have had too much to drink, pull over. It's worth taking a break to avoid a crash that could hurt or maim you or someone else.

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