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Wishes for a healthy, happy new year

Since so many of you actually receive the paper before the date printed on it (in this case, Jan. 1), I want to wish everyone a healthy, happy and prosperous new year.

And, I want to remind you that police are out in full force to crack down on people who don’t use their seat belts and those who drive drunk.

I’ve ridden with police in the past as part of my job, and most really don’t like to arrest drunk drivers. Oh, they know they have to do it for the public safety, more than anything, but it’s a time-consuming procedure that takes them off the streets for an hour or two.

I’m not going to preach abstinence, because I enjoy an adult beverage on occasion. I am going to preach moderation and common sense.

The Kendall County Sheriff’s Office sent us a press release providing some common sense tips to avoid problems, not only with the police, but with potentially life-threatening accidents.

• For starters, plan ahead. Designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys. Hosts, be sure to provide plenty of nonalcoholic beverages for the designated drivers. Many bars provide free soft drinks for designated drivers.

• If you do imbibe, call a friend or family member. If you are in an area with mass transit or taxi service, use them. Drinking establishments in some communities also collaborate to provide rides home, for a fee of course. Pay the fee, use the service and get home safely.

• If you’re out driving and suspect another driver may have celebrated a little too much, call the police. Provide as much information as you can and let the police do their job.

• Wear your seat belt every time you get in the car. It doesn’t matter if you are going two blocks or across country. Be sure all passengers are buckled up. It is for your own safety and your best defense in an accident.

I will probably stay home on New Year’s Eve; at least I don’t have any plans as I write this. I’m hoping the worst thing that happens to anyone is a hangover on Jan. 1, and the best is some good memories from a great evening.

Wishing you all a healthy, happy and prosperous 2013.

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