New Year's Eve is a time for celebration, reflection and goal-making. Let's make a promise to ourselves and our families to include safer driving on our list of changes to make this year. Especially around times of festivity. Holiday times, whether New Year's, Fourth of July or Thanksgiving, show higher incidences of alcohol-impaired driving crashes each year. Even cautious drivers can be seriously affected by having more than two drinks before driving, and 30 percent of all alcohol-related crashes involve first-time offenders. Most people don't think about it, but "buzzed driving" is drunk driving. It only takes an ounce of alcohol to impair your judgement. The legal alcohol limit is .08 percent, which averages out to be two drinks. At that point you have disturbed balance, and your motor coordination, hearing vision and speed control are all compromised. Plus, you have an increased confidence that you might not notice.
So before attending your next holiday party, let's all remember these facts and tips to make good decisions this year:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin
- If you're hosting a party, offer some non-alcoholic beverages, and stop serving alcohol an hour before the party ends
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi or call a sober friend or family member
- Use the community’s sober ride program
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement
- If you know people who are about to drive or ride with someone who is impaired, take the driver’s keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely
Enjoy the season and drive safe!