The end of the year means more cocktail parties, gift exchange events and late-night get-togethers. These events will likely involve some amount of festive alcoholic beverages and, in turn, the risk of getting behind the wheel while under the influence drastically increases during the holiday season. According to the NHTSA, during the Christmas and New Year period, the average number of fatalities involving an alcohol-impaired driver rises by 34%.
Make sure you can enjoy the festivities without incurring a DUI by planning ahead to avoid drinking and driving. If you know you are attending an event with alcohol, there are certain tips you can use before and during the get-together to have a great time and stay safe.
- Assign a designated driver beforehand.
- Entrust your keys to the host of the event or other responsible person as soon as you get there.
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with a glass of water and food. Stop drinking alcohol during the last two hours of the event.
- Remember there is no stigma attached to deciding not to drink at a party. If you don’t want the task of finding alternate transportation home, your best option is to not drink.
- Keep a list of nearby cab companies in your wallet or saved on your smartphone. Dial 1-800-TAXI-USA for immediate taxi service or download the company’s free mobile app, Taximobile, to find a taxi service near you.
- Apps like Uber and Lyft can also be helpful if a taxi isn’t nearby.
- If you are intoxicated and need a ride home but don’t want to leave your vehicle overnight, consider using a service like BeMyDD, that sends a chauffeur to drive you and your car home.
As the host of a get-together this season, you are an important part in helping to prevent drunk driving and DUI arrests. If you serve alcoholic beverages, be sure to also serve plenty of food, as a full stomach helps alcohol absorb more slowly into the bloodstream. Provide tasty alcohol-free alternatives to alcoholic beverages so that designated drivers won’t feel left out or be tempted to indulge. Pay attention to your guests’ behavior and serve alcohol accordingly. It’s usually smart to stop serving alcoholic drinks an hour or two before the party ends.