Lafayette, LA (KPEL News) - Beads, trinkets, sunglasses. Mardi Gras parade goers in Louisiana will be catching all they can, but you'll want to avoid "steel bracelets."

They will ruin your fun and maybe someone else's.

"Steel bracelets" is a slang term for handcuffs, and that's definitely not something you want to see during carnival season.

Louisiana enjoys partying it up with costumes, masks, beads, and more than a few adult beverage. There's no problem with doing that...

Until you decide to get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

During the 2022 Mardi Gras holiday,  according to the Center for Analytics and Research in Transportation Safety at LSU, 11 people were killed and 120 people were hurt in crashes that involved a driver who had been drinking.

And none of those were in the New Orleans area!

Executive Director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission Lisa Freeman explains:

But drinking and driving during the Carnival holiday killed people in Acadia, Ascension, Caddo, East Baton Rouge, St. Charles, Tangipahoa, and Webster parishes in 2022.

Louisiana had more alcohol-related fatalities and injuries during Mardi Gras season that year than during any other holiday.

Law enforcement officials don't get to enjoy carnival season like the average citizen. If they aren't assisting their fellow LEO with parades and events, they are patrolling the streets looking for impaired drivers.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over statewide campaign provides additional funding to law enforcement agencies across Louisiana to pay for additional patrols who are trained to spot people who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Freeman says:

It’s a season for friends and family to enjoy the parades, the parties, and the culture that culminates on Mardi Gras. But if you are caught drinking and driving, your Carnival season will end early, without beads, and in handcuffs.

Be smart. Stay safe. Designate a driver or plan for a ride home. Don't end up with stainless steel bracelets.

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