SEATTLE -- The official kickoff to the holiday season is just around the corner and local authorities have a stern message: If you plan to drink, make sure you have a safe ride home.
The Washington State Patrol and police across King County plan to have extra patrols out every night, starting Thanksgiving Eve and on through New Year's Day.
Officials say drunk driving is still the leading cause of traffic deaths in Washington, with an average of 49 people killed every holiday season.
Law enforcement encourage people to visit WAdrivetozero.com to learn tips for working toward zero traffic deaths. One tip is to have designated drivers available if you are planning a party, and to invest in air mattresses so guests can stay the night if needed. For office parties, limit alcohol and provide shuttle service, even book hotel rooms for workers who are too intoxicated to drive.
State officials also encourage parents to talk to their children about alcohol, marijuana and other drugs, and that they should not get into a car with a driver who is intoxicated. Parents can find more information for talking to their kids at starttalkingnow.org.
If you see a suspected DUI driver on the roads, call 911.