FORT JACKSON, S.C. (May 15, 2014) -- Schools will be out soon, pools will be open, and the Fort Jackson community will be looking for fun ways to cool down as summer temperatures heat up. As you head to the beach, pool, lake, ball park, barbecue, picnic with friends or to the mountains for a camping vacation, the Fort Jackson Army Substance Abuse Program encourages you and your family to keep safety in mind.According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the most important element of any summer party is a sober driver.Summer represents one of the most dangerous and deadliest times of the year on the nation's roadways because of a significant increase in the number of alcohol-related traffic crashes and fatalities. Therefore, those who plan on using alcohol this summer should designate a sober driver before any party.The increase in alcohol use throughout the summer - and particularly around major holiday weekends, beginning with Memorial Day, through July 4 and ending with Labor Day - has made the summer a very grim time for law enforcement, emergency medical staff, highway safety officials and the friends and families of alcohol-related crash victims.If you do become impaired by alcohol, ask a sober friend for a ride home, use mass transit, call a cab, ask a friend or family member to get you or just stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.And, of course, always remember to wear your safety belt. It is still the single best defense against death or injury in a crash.Preventing alcohol-related crashes is a team effort. When impaired drivers get behind the wheel, they put their lives and the lives of all their fellow motorists at risk. Driving impaired is simply not worth any of the pain you can cause yourself or someone else.Editor's note: Information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was used in this article. For more information on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, visit For questions about substance abuse, call 751-5007.