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Don't make mistakes on New Year's Eve

December 30, 2014

The New Year is upon us, which means celebrating. Unfortunately, too many people get behind the wheel on New Year's Eve after having consumed alcohol. If you plan on driving to or from a party or dinner this holiday, make sure you are sober and safe. And even if you are the sober driver, there are others on the road who won't be as safe. Be watchful.

Be safe with your drinking this New Years.
In 2012, 140 deaths occurred on New Year's Eve as a result of drunk driving, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. This doesn't have to be you or your loved ones. There are ways to prevent yourself from driving while drunk:

  • Don't take out your car: If you are attending a party on New Year's Eve, take a cab. A cab is the best because you aren't getting a ride from a friend either. The fewer people with vehicles at the party, the better. However, there are times when your car is your only option for one reason or another. If this is the case, then give your keys to the party host as soon as you arrive. Chances are he or she has a bowl or drawer ready for all the keys anyway. Don't worry, as your car will be safer than if you have your keys in your pocket and a drink in your hand.
  • Plan ahead:  The biggest reason people make mistakes about driving on New Years is because they don't make a plan beforehand. Don't leave your home and assume you'll figure it all out. What if cabs or Uber drivers are backed up for several hours? Don't make the mistake this year. Order your car for the evening now. If you split the cost with several friends, you won't have to pay too much. But really, what cost is worth your safety?
  • Other penalties: As if the risk of getting in an accident isn't enough, there are many penalties that can come from driving under the influence. If you are pulled over, you will be given a DUI, and depending on the state you live in, there will be ramifications to your driving license. Additionally, your auto insurance rates will go way up if you are given a DUI. It is typical that drivers with a DUI on their records are considered high-risk, which will cost you more. Keep your costs low and avoid court fees, fines or jail time.

Just because you are hosting a party doesn't mean you are clear from the dangers of drunk driving. If someone leaves your home and has had too much to drink and gets in an accident, you can be held accountable. Make sure you take the proper precautions so that people don't leave your home after having too much to drink. Here are some suggestions:

  • Have other drink options:  Sure, it is a night for celebrating and you will certainly have champagne and other cocktails, but have some soft drinks as well. Serve punch or soda. It is also a good idea to have coffee ready to be made in case anyone needs a little pick me up. Water is also extremely important. Keeping people hydrated is necessary, especially when they are consuming alcohol.
  • Serve food: Don't let people drink on an empty stomach, as this leads to impairment faster. Have snacks on hand to serve to your guests so they can balance out their alcohol intake.
  • Start your party late: It is New Year's Eve, which means no one is going home early. The longer people stay and party, the more they will have to drink. Start your party late in the evening so you don't have guests drinking hour after hour.

There is no way to prepare for all possible accidents that happen on New Year's Eve, but you can make a plan for yourself and the friends you are with. Be safe while you ring in the New Year.