Ahead of New Year’s, efforts to prevent impaired driving and underage drinking

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MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ)- It’s not secret that the holidays are a popular time to get together with friends and share a few drinks, but law enforcement officers say it’s also one of the deadliest times of the year on area roadways.

According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 28 people die each day in alcohol-related crashes. Mothers Against Drunk Driving says on New Year’s Day 2012, that number was 70. It’s all part of the around 10,000 people who die each year in those types of crashes. In addition to being deadly, Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton says the combination of drinking and driving can be costly.

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“You figure your first DUI is going to cost you somewhere between 500 and 700. And then your insurance is probably going to drop you, so that increases your cost exponentially and then you’re driving without insurance once you get your license back,” says Melton.

As important as keeping impaired drivers off the road is the effort to keep alcohol out of the hands of minors.

“Drinking underage, it doesn’t make you any cooler or put you above anyone else,” says Anne Morrison.

Anne and others are with Madison County Youth in Action. The group works Thursday morning to place stickers on cases of beer at area liquor stores, displaying the penalties that come with providing alcohol to minors.

“It feels really good because it feels like I’m doing something to help my community and something that’s a big problem today within that community,” says Jim Morrison, another member of the team.