A few drinks can do damage for generations

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Say that again.

You’re in law enforcement, and you’re going to serve journalists enough alcohol to become impaired, then pat them on the back and give ‘em a ride home?

Free booze? Free ride? And gratitude, to boot?

And get paid for it, too?

Devin Weeks of the Coeur d’Alene Press and Chanse Watson of the Shoshone News-Press, both Hagadone Corp. newspapers, volunteered to take one (or two, or six) for the team on Monday. They got slightly sloshed to drive home the point that when you’ve had one or two or six, the last thing you should do is drive home.

Devin was still grinning when a trooper dropped her off at the newsroom Monday evening. Devin was talking about the “wet lab” experience and how little alcohol it took, really, to push her into the impairment realm. She was impressed with the Idaho State Police troopers who not only put on the event, but served the drinks — basically, anything the volunteers wanted. (“I kind of feel bad that I didn’t have any cash for tips!” she wrote.)

But with both Devin and Chanse, the real purpose of the exercise was painfully sobering. Not only does drinking and driving lead to costly arrests, but to injuries and death as well.

On some level we all know that, but with the holiday season officially upon us, we need to be fully aware of the possible consequences of our actions.

‘Tis the season of celebrations that can easily get out of hand. It’s also a time of year that, for many, grows as dark internally as it does outside. Depression can hit hard, harder than usual. And in many cases, people self-medicate with alcohol, believing it will ease the pain when in fact, it has the opposite effect.

An effect like putting them in jail or a hospital.

Like sending them or other innocents to the morgue.

Roughly 11,000 Americans are killed in drunk-driving accidents each year, with far more injured to the point that life will never again be normal. Think about how many family and friends are devastated by these statistics, and you can grasp the dismal ripple effect drunk driving causes.

North Idaho had no drunk-driving fatalities during the 100 Deadliest Days — Memorial Day to Labor Day — of 2019, according to ISP. Let’s keep that record going.

Whether you’re having a rocking good time this holiday season or are trying to drown your sorrows, please don’t get behind the wheel.

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