The holidays are here. It’s a time for family, friends and good cheer – not drunk driving. Unfortunately, accidents caused by drunk drivers tend to rise around times of celebration. Keep yourself and the ones you care about safe at this season’s holiday parties with these tips for hosts and guests to help prevent drunk driving.
As a host, you want your party to be remembered for the good times everyone had. You don’t want your party to be associated with car accidents, DUIs and traffic fatalities. Worse yet, you don’t want to be hit with a lawsuit if a guest you serve gets drunk and causes harm.
Before the party, talk to your guests about transportation. Instead of driving, suggest that your guests take public transportation, taxis or Ubers. Alternatively, see if you can find guests who are willing to be designated drivers and arrange for carpools.
At the party, provide non-alcoholic beverage options, and try to make them appealing. Having a delicious non-alcoholic cranberry punch, for example, could make it easier for guests to resist the temptation of a cocktail or spiked eggnog.
As the party winds down, keep an eye on guests as they leave. Double check that everyone has a safe and sober ride home. Have a backup plan for any guests who become inebriated and don’t have a way home. This could involve providing a ride for them, or offering them an overnight stay in your guest room.
If you plan to drink, make sure you also plan for a sober ride home. This could be a bus, a taxi or an Uber. It could also be a ride from a sober friend.
Consider offering to be a designated driver at the next holiday party you attend. This is a great way to make sure your friends stay safe. If you’re attending multiple parties with the same group of friends, arrange to take turns being the designated driver.
Remember that drunk individuals are often poor judges of their own driving ability. Don’t assume that you’re fine to drive just because you think you handle your alcohol well. Also keep in mind that a single drink can contain multiple servings of alcohol.
In many cases, a driver will be considered drunk with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. However, impairment can occur at lower levels, and a driver with a BAC below .08 can be charged with a DUI in some cases.
If, in the course of your merriment, you end up unexpectedly drunk, don’t drive. Leave your car and take a taxi home if you need to. Yes, arranging to pick up your car the next morning may be a hassle, but it’s not nearly as inconvenient as being charged with a DUI or causing a car accident.
Even if you’re driving sober, other drivers may not be. The holidays are a great time to renew your family’s commitment to not driving distracted. Avoid using cell phones, applying makeup, adjusting your play list, or anything else that may cause you to take your eyes off the road. Also, avoid driving if you are drowsy. There are many more impaired drivers on the road during the holidays, so alert and defensive driving is more important than ever.
Related: Holiday home fire prevention tips