Earlier this month, the West Virginia State Police reported a gradual decrease in the number of arrests made statewide since 2008 for individuals charged with driving under the influence.
Specifically, the data shows 6,841 arrests in 2008; 6,574 in 2009; and 6,112 in 2010.
Police expect that trend to continue when final figures are reported for the current year. Quite frankly, we hope they're right, and we encourage our local motorists to do their part in keeping the roads safe. Tonight, revelers will ring in the new year. If part of that celebrating involves alcohol or other intoxicating substances, please don't get behind the wheel.
During a press conference in Charleston, Sgt. Michael Baylous described driving under the influence as "a conscious and a selfish decision." We couldn't agree more. Randolph and our surrounding counties have seen their share of tragedies that resulted from drunken driving. These injuries and deaths could have been avoided if the driver had simply handed over the keys.
For those who are still not convinced of the senselessness of driving drunk, consider another point Baylous made: the average DUI cost to the accused totals $10,000.
This weekend, state, local and city police will be out in full force.