Police Warn Against Drinking & Driving - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/31/02 - Longview

Police Warn Against Drinking & Driving

Officers increase their traffic enforcement each new year's eve, hoping to prevent deadly accidents as a result of drinking and driving.

Law enforcement says it's fine to enjoy the holiday, but drink responsibly, and don't be afraid to ask for a ride.

"It's just the grace of God that will get us through this," says Jackie Manning three years ago after two of her great nephews were killed in a car accident in Marshall.

The boys along with their mother, another brother and cousin were hit head on by a drunk driver.

42 year old Vicky Kuhn was eventually sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Longview police say a tragedy like the one in Marshall could happen again.

That's why they've beefed up patrol this new year's eve.

"We will have additional officers on the street tonight under the safe and sober grant that we operate under more than we would have on any other Friday or Saturday night looking for intoxicated drivers," says sergeant John Thompson.

Police say the rules for drivers are simple.

If you plan to drink, that's fine, just don't get behind the wheel.

Instead give your keys to a designated driver that has had nothing to drink.

"There are just some die hard people that just don't appreciate how simple it is not to get in trouble with the law that's the designated driver has the keys. Don't be a driver. Enjoy your party but don't drive." says Thompson.

For the family in Marshall it's advice that could've saved two young lives.

But for those planning a party this new year's eve Sgt. Thompson has one last word of caution if you're still planning to drink and drive.

"The message is if you don't want to meet us don't drink and drive," says Thompson.

Sergeant Thompson says if you do drink and need a ride home, you can call the Longview police department for help.

In Tyler, you can call for a safe ride home at 903-593-8444.

Amy Tatum reporting 

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