During the holiday season there are lots of chances to drink. When it is time to head home, how will you get there? There are plenty of reasons not to drive after you have been drinking. Will you make the right decision this Christmas? 

With all of the holiday parties, family driving you to drinking, and all of the alcoholic egg nog, loads of people through the next week will be out on the roads with some drinks in their system. This creates a dangerous chance for something horrible to happen.

The Tyler police department is ready for all of this drunken mayhem on the streets. They are making efforts to enforce the DWI laws. The amount of patrolling police cars will increase until after New Year's day.

The Tyler police department and the Smith County Sheriffs department will be operating on a "no refusal" basis. This means that, no matter what, if you are believed to be intoxicated while driving they will find out. There is not a chance to refuse an on sight intoxication test. If you say no to a breathalyzer test, they will take you in to the police station where a judge awaits to give a court order for a blood test. These are very dramatic, but effective means to keep drunk drivers off of our roads.

If the chance of going to jail does not scare you out of driving after some drinks, the reality of what could happen to you otherwise just might.

There is a website called, Faces of Drunk Driving, that gives two heart breaking stories of how your life will be forever changed because of a drunk driving accident.

The first story that they give is of a young man with his whole life ahead of him. One night all of his goals and dreams for life were taken away. His life was changed because of a night out on the town. Sean Carter was never the same after his accident.

Carter went from a life as an athlete, student, and model to being in a wheelchair without the ability to speak. He relies on the help of his mother to complete daily tasks. Imagine that you were in this position.

Waking up in the morning, you would be unable to just jump out of bed. You would no longer have any privacy in the restroom, because someone would have to assist you. Dressing yourself, feeding yourself, and even saying good morning would all be things you wouldn't be able to do by yourself. All of this change because, like Sean Carter, you decided to ride home with a friend that had been drinking.

We are not invincible, bad things CAN happen to any of us.  The idea that you can live forever, unharmed is a ridiculous fantasy. Jacqueline Saburido and her friends learned this lesson the hard way.

Driving home one night Saburido and her friends met a drunk driver head on, literally. The collision had such and impact that two of her friends lost their lives and Jacqueline Saburido was so badly burned, she lost what she once looked like. Below you will see where Saburido began, and what she looks like now.

hommage a Jacqueline Saburido, Facebook
hommage a Jacqueline Saburido, Facebook

Jacqueline Saburido is now the face of what could happen when you drink and drive. This could happen to you or because of you. Are a few beers that could lead to a life threatening accident worth it to you?

My own father experienced the worst that can happen when involved with a holiday drunk driver. Long ago, in the 1960's, my father was driving his long term girlfriend to my grand parents for them to meet her for the first time. It was early on Christmas morning when they hit the road, but they weren't alone. A man had been up drinking all night before he got behind the wheel around the same time my father turned his key to start the car. They both hit the road, where they met would take a life.

My father came up over a hill and saw a car swerving all across the road. He tried to pull off of the road to give the drunken driver room to go past. He pulled almost thirty feet off of the road to try and avoid the intoxicated man, but it wasn't enough. BAM.

My father woke up to the horrible scene in the aftermath of the collision. His head aching from the impact he looked around frantically to see if his girlfriend was okay. He found her lying in his lap on the edge of her life. He held her as she passed away in his arms.

This experience never left him. Though my father was not to blame and did everything he could to avoid the wreck, he felt guilty for the death of his girlfriend. The man that hit them only had to feel a few years of guilt in jail before he was released. My father's girlfriend lost her life because this man wouldn't stay off of the road.

Don't be the one that causes these horrible tragedies. Don't be selfish enough to put someone else's life in harm's way. Make the choice not to be arrested or involved in an accident that could ruin your or someone else's life.

There are too many ways to avoid the horror of a drunk driving accident. Please, take a cab or have a designated driver for the holidays. For me, you, everyone you love, and everyone that could be lost.

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