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Don't put yourself in harm's way: Drunk driving in CA

For many of us, uncomfortable situations involving drinking and driving happen all too often. Maybe your designated driver decides to enjoy a few cocktails, but insists he or she is able to drive safely. Perhaps a friend tries to convince you to have a drink or two when you know you need to drive home later.

Regardless of the circumstances leading to an impaired person getting behind the wheel, the consequences are typically the same, and often disastrous.

Last year, 867 people died in motor vehicle accidents caused by drunk drivers in California, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. In all, those fatalities accounted for almost 30 percent of all traffic deaths in the state. Sadly, the number of people killed in such collisions rose over 4.5 percent from the year before.

Across the United States, over 10,000 people lost their lives in drunk driving crashes in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drunk drivers cause about one-third of all traffic fatalities in the United States each year.

This goes to show that even though it may be awkward to take the keys away from a friend who has been drinking, doing so could save a life. If your designated driver has started to drink, call an Uber or a taxi to take you and your friends home. Don't ever get in a car if the driver has been drinking. The most important thing you can do after a night out with friends is make sure you all get home safely, with a sober driver.

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