With the winter holidays kicking off, we should all take time to remember the epidemic that sweeps the United States this time each year — drunk and drugged driving.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, more than 900 lives were lost in 2009 because of drunk driving between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Obviously, the holidays are an especially likely time for drunk drivers to take to the streets. Many people attend parties and drink more than they realize. And with nothing but cheerful spirits and happy times to look forward to, many people who would never dream of climbing behind the wheel after a few drinks choose to do so.

In Virginia, MADD has joined Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and the Virginia State Police Superintendent Col. Steve Flaherty to launch a new “drive sober” effort. The new campaign will discourage drivers from drinking before driving. With the holidays just around the corner, there is no better time to launch this campaign.

As a car accident attorney, no wreck is more heartbreaking to see than one that could have been prevented. I applaud MADD and the lieutenant governor for taking the initiative to prevent drunk driving. This time of year is one of the happiest for most people, and one that should never involve the tragedy of losing a loved one because of drunk driving.