This Memorial Day, do not become a memory

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According to information from the University of Southern California, alcohol sales have surged since the COVID-19 pandemic began, raising concerns among experts and others that the bottoms-up binge could come with a social cost.

As family and friends break free from shelter-in-place orders and begin to plan their Memorial Day celebrations, we encourage you to plan while you can and designate a sober ride. Impairment begins with the first drink. Texas law enforcement officers will be out in force during the Memorial Day weekend looking for impaired drivers. Failing to drive sober immensely increases the chance of being arrested for a DWI.

We want all the citizens of Hopkins County to make it home safely this weekend. No one wins when you drink and drive or use impairing drugs and drive. Not only could you become a memory in someone’s life, you could also cost someone their life or cause serious, lifelong injuries. The financial burden of getting a DWI can run as high as $17,000—not to mention the emotional costs associated with a DWI.

The best course of action is to not drink alcoholic beverages at all. Opt for iced tea, flavored waters, soft drinks and smoothies instead. If you do consume alcoholic beverages, plan ahead by using a non-drinking driver or a taxi/rideshare service to get home safely. If that is not an option, sleep at a friend’s house. Planning ahead can make this Memorial Day a memorable weekend—while not planning ahead might turn it into a nightmare.

Memorial Day is about honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. That should be our focus. So enjoy this special day but celebrate sensibly, keeping in mind that extra safety precautions should be taken to protect yourself from COVID19.

FAMILY & COMMUNITY HEALTH

If you are a social media user, I encourage you to check out the Hopkins County Family & Community Health Facebook page. You will find lots of great information on health, nutrition and youth activities, as well as opportunities to participate in virtual workshops, online classes and more provided by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. While you’re scrolling, check out the Texas Better Living For Texans and Dinner Tonight Facebook pages, as well.