The holidays are an exciting time when families and friends come together to celebrate the season. Often times, that celebration includes sharing alcohol with one another. When someone breaks out a bottle, you might decide to join in on the drinking. After you’ve had a few drinks, there’s nothing wrong with driving home, right? You only live a few miles away, what’s the big deal?
In reality, you’re putting yourself and many others in danger. Drunk drivers play a role in 40% of all traffic deaths that occur over Christmas and New Year’s Day. In that short week, there is a 12% increase in accidents over the rest of the month, mostly due to drunk driving that occurs during holidays.
Read on and explore our tips to keep safe during the holiday season.
What can I do to prevent drunk driving?
If you are hosting a holiday party, it’s up to you to keep an eye on your party goers and make sure they don’t consume too much alcohol. Here are some tips to avoid dangerous drunk driving accidents:
- Serve lots of food. Food is a great way to help your guests absorb the alcohol they are drinking. Foods with a lot of protein or carbs can do wonders for slowing down the rate that one becomes drunk. Try to avoid serving a lot of salty snacks, as these can make your party goers thirsty and more likely to drink their drinks rapidly to quench their thirst.
- Know the signs of visible intoxication. Throughout the night, monitor your guests for signs of intoxication. Some major signals of a guest being drunk include bloodshot or glassy eyes, disorientation, vomiting, an extreme change in mood and difficulty remembering. If a guest starts showing one or more of these signs, stop serving them alcohol for the night,offer food and water instead and be sure they have a safe ride home.
- Offer a cab fund. Consider setting aside some money to offer for a cab ride home. You might also give a gift card for a ride sharing app so that they can get the ride themselves. As long as they get home safely, you’ve earned a peace of mind that money can’t buy.
As a party goer, it’s up to you to control your drinking to get home safe. If you do choose to drink at a party, keep these tips in mind:
- Have a designated driver. If you are going somewhere and drinking, you absolutely must have someone who can get you home. Having a designated driver will take away the temptation of wanting to drive home while drunk, plus it helps to have a friend at a party who can keep you responsible with your drinking.
- Recognize how much you’ve been drinking. Very few people understand how long it takes for alcohol to leave their system. A large glass of wine may take a whole three hours to fully metabolize in your body. This can also vary greatly depending on your age, your weight, pre-existing conditions and any medications you are taking. If you have even the slightest amount of doubt, you should avoid driving.
- “Just one drink” is more than you think. It’s easy to pass off having one drink and driving home. It’s not really that much, right? Actually, even small amounts of alcohol have the ability to cause impairment and a decrease in functioning. For example, having a blood alcohol content of only .02 can cause a decline in your ability to multitask, despite being well below the legal limit of .08. Even though you may be below the .08 limit, if alcohol impairs your ability to drive, you will be considered driving while intoxicated.
The consequences of drunk driving
- Losing your driver’s license
- Mandatory jail time
- Mandatory ignition interlock
- Job loss
- Higher insurance rates
- Criminal prosecution
- Personal injury lawsuits
- Fines and fees
- Causing injury or death to another
Be smart this holiday season. If you have even the slightest doubt that you may be drunk, do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Ask a friend to drive you home or call a ride. It may be inconvenient for you in the moment, but it could save a life.
Have you been injured due to the reckless actions of a drunk driver?
Contact Pettit Law Office. We can help you navigate life and start to recover after a drunk driver changes your life forever.