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RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) -
With the upcoming New Year's Holiday, the Highway Patrol is asking motorists to help bring a safe end to 2012 by not driving impaired, buckling-up and keeping their focus on the road.
Last year in North Carolina, ten people died in motor vehicle related crashes between Christmas and New Year's.
During this year's two-day Christmas Holiday reporting period of 12 a.m. December 24 through 11:59 p.m. on December 25, two people were killed in traffic-related crashes.
Year-to-date, troopers have investigated 5,545 collisions that were attributed to alcohol impairment. That number is a slightly higher from last year's total of 5,310. To combat that slight increase, troopers have made over 23,000 driving while impaired arrests thus far this year.
"Our troopers will be very vigilant in locating and removing impaired drivers off North Carolina highways as we approach the New Year holiday," said Colonel Michael Gilchrist, commander of the Highway Patrol. "Our ultimate goal is provide a safe driving environment for all motorists."
To prevent needless injuries and deaths due to alcohol impairment this holiday season, the Highway Patrol suggests these simple tips:
• Be responsible
• Designate a sober driver
• Call a cab, friend or family member if you find yourself in a situation where you had too much to drink
• Spend the night where you are, if at all possible
Citizens can contribute to the highway safety by reporting impaired and erratic drivers to the by simply dialing *Hp or *47 on a cellular phone. Callers should give the description of the vehicle, location, direction of travel and license plate number if at all possible.
"We all need to do our part to stay safe as we travel on our highways this holiday season. Be responsible, call a friend or family member, but please don't drink and drive! The choice you make can be the difference between life and death!" said First Sergeant Jeff Gordon, Public Information Officer.