THE time of the year where some of us are lucky enough to start winding down has begun and with that celebrating the end of another year.
Lucky for some, I would emphasise.
With that celebratory time comes various things, such as time for reflection, time for looking forward and for some maybe time for sadness.
Sadly also for some, it is the time for drunkenness and thoroughly bad behaviour, which seems to come hand in hand with Christmas and New Year.
So for those out there who are genuinely celebrating Christmas and New Year and maybe winding down, some are winding up for a jolly good time, which will inevitably result in their incarceration, in a prison or police cell, somewhere across the country.
For those who are responsible members of our community I am sure they will pass through this period incident-free and have a nice relaxing time, once the big day has come and gone. Maybe get away from Oamaru and familiar faces, if that is your thing, or head up the Waitaki Lakes and meet "locals".
However, a word of caution.
If you are going out and drinking alcohol, do not drive.
It is quite simple really. No rocket science here as the old saying goes. We have taxis, courtesy vehicles and, of course, we have friends and relatives with cars who would rather be slightly inconvenienced than have you standing in court.
By all means, drink and have a good time. I am no party pooper.
Go out and celebrate, but do not be tempted to get into your car and drive home. It is just not worth the risk of getting caught but, dare I say it, that is potentially the least of your worries.
Killing or injuring someone (yourself maybe) is far worse than any conviction you may receive and going further down the scale, loss of your car insurance is another consideration to bear in mind.
Common sense needs to prevail and I believe that drinking and driving is now as anti-social as smoking.
If you are considering having a party, provide substantial food and do not allow anyone to leave your premises behind the wheel of their car.
I am sure the day is not too far away where anyone supplying liquor to a partygoer will be held liable for the actions of others and find themselves in the defendant's box holding hands with a drink driver.
If need be, remove keys from anyone insisting on driving or phone the police immediately.
We do not want drivers who have been drinking on North Otago roads and anything you can do to help us achieve that goal we will appreciate.