It’s that time of the year again, where the Holiday’s joy and Drunk Driving become associated together and rightfully so. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve is the celebration of renewal, usually celebrated with alcohol. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the reality is the danger of being hit by a drunk driver or receiving a citation for DUI (driving under the influence) is indeed far greater between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
While many Americans have become accustomed to planning extra steps to avoid drinking and driving on this holiday. The truth is that many fail to recognize the danger that exists throughout the holiday season and the professional football season. Many also, ignore the dangers and drink and drive anyway; now you are a victim in waiting.
With office holiday parties, holiday get-togethers thrown by friends and family, and a myriad of professional sports events, the opportunities to consume alcohol seem nearly endless this time of the year. Add factors such as poor driving conditions due to all the seasonal traffic, shorter daytime driving hours and other holiday season driving distractions, and you have the potential for a tragedy.
According to FindLaw.com, the nation’s leading online source for legal information, drunk driving means being under the influence of any substance (alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription drugs, etc.) that impairs a person’s ability to safely operate a motorized vehicle (car, motorcycle, boat, all-terrain vehicle (ATV), etc.).
All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws defining it as a crime to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the currently .08 percent in most states. Most arrests display a .16 BAC. The relative risk of death for drivers in single-vehicle crashes with a high BAC is 385 times that of someone with a zero BAC. That is right, put bluntly, that is 385 times more likely you are to kill someone else or die yourself. Are you ready to leave this earth in such a horrific manner?
Following these tips may just keep you alive.
1. Make sure to choose someone who promises not to drink and who will make sure that all passengers buckle up. Take A Cab or Public Transportation.
2. If you host a holiday party, either at your home or at your workplace, make sure to offer your guests a cab ride to get home, if they need it. Make sure to also offer non-alcoholic beverages to your guests – as well as food to offset alcohol intake.
3. Even if you’ve only had one glass of wine or one beer, alcohol in any quantity can impair. Avoid compounding the situation with distractions such as talking on your cell phone or texting, which takes your eyes off the road.
4. No matter how much you think, you can handle and still drive, remember that if you are relying on your speedometer to keep you from getting a DUI, statistics are not in your favor.
You can do something to save yours and others lives.
Many instances of drunk driving accidents could have been prevented by someone interfering. In this day and technological age, with cell phones in almost every driver’s reach, reports of drunk drivers have gone up. These reports have saved an incalculable amount of lives by stopping a drunk driver before it’s too late.
If you see what you suspect is a drunk driver and you have a phone, do the right thing, it helps to have the toll free number for Highway Patrol Nationwide programmed into your phone for general emergency’s anyway:
• Dial the local highway patrol, police department or 800 number
• Get the license plate number of the car
• Let the authorities know that you suspect a drunk driver
• Give your location
It is worth those few minutes of your time to save that drunk driver from hurting themselves and/or others
Checkpoint forces are a research-based initiative, in most states, designed to catch and arrest drunk drivers via sobriety checkpoints and other enhanced law enforcement efforts and to deter drunk driving by educating the public about the dangers and consequences of drunk driving. Research has shown that sobriety checkpoints can reduce alcohol-related crashes by as much as 20 percent, so please get that cab or designated driver because you WILL go to jail.