Don’t spend this Christmas behind bars

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59 News Online Update: December 6, 2019

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Christmas lights are seen all over town, but there are some lights you don’t want to see this Yuletide season. Every December, hundreds of lives are lost due to drunk driving incidents.

Sgt. Jamie Wilhite with the Beckley Police Department deals with drunk drivers far too often.

“It’s a busy time of the season. We got college students home, we got family members visiting, holiday parties so it does pick up, as far as alcohol and obviously there’s a spike in drunk driving as well,” Wilhite said.

Whether it’s a work party or exchanging gifts with friends over drinks, people are more likely to indulge.

Jodi Farley is the general manager of the bar at Skyline Lodge.

“People during this time of year, there’s holiday parties, whether it be with family or companies, and in the moment, you’re laughing, joking, taking little sips here and there and you don’t really realize how much you have consumed at the end of the evening,” Farley said.

At that holiday party, if you do find yourself having one too many, there are a few things you can do to keep your Christmas merry and bright. Sgt. Wilhite suggested planning ahead, and have a ride home.

“It’s just not worth it. Have a DD, have a designated driver, someone going out there with you who won’t be drinking. If everyone is drinking, taxi cab, uber, a lot of these places have vans that will take you home. And I can imagine one of your 300 contacts in your cell phone will not mind coming to pick you up no matter what time it is,” Wilhite said.

If you can’t find a designated driver, some bars will make sure you still make it home for the holidays. Employees at Skyline Lodge said they will arrange for you to stay in a room, to sleep off those Moscow mules, at no cost to you.

“We want to make sure that everyone is safe, whether that means that they leave here safe or if they have possibly had one too many, and it’s obvious then we will, here we are fortunate to have the hotel and we are able to put them in a room at no charge so that there’s not an occurrence down the road of an accident or something,” Farley said.

So if you’ve had one too many cups of holiday cheer, remember there is someone waiting for you by the Christmas tree.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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