The holidays are meant to be joyous and filled with cheer. Unfortunately, this is also one of the most common times of the year for crashes due to drinking and driving. During 2016, in the state of Texas there were 987 fatalities that resulted from drinking and driving, with 163 alcohol-related crashes and injuries occurring in Denton.
In the United States, there are more alcohol-related traffic fatalities during the holidays than during any other time of the year. Whether you are hosting this year’s celebration or you are planning on attending an event where alcohol will be served, here are a few tips to help you and/or your guests get home safe by choosing not to drink and drive.
Whether you are attending an ugly sweater party or hosting this year’s New Year’s Eve party, the time to plan for a safe trip to and from the event is not during the party or after the party-it’s before the party even begins.
If walking home or spending the night isn’t an option, do a little research in advance to learn about the available options in your community.
Choose a Designated Driver
If you are planning on celebrating the holidays by drinking alcoholic beverages, one of the most important things to do before arriving at the event is to have a designated driver.
Make sure everyone in your group agrees ahead of time on who the designated driver will be. Keep in mind that, as a designated driver, drinking no amount of alcohol is a safe amount when you are responsible for getting yourself and/or others home safely.
Be a Responsible Host
If you are hosting a holiday event that includes drinking alcoholic beverages, do not automatically assume that your guests will have made safe travel plans. Have plenty of alcohol-free beverages and snacks available and be aware of how much your guests are drinking and that all pre-designated drivers don’t have any alcohol.
Before the celebrations begin, make sure there will be a sober driver available to make as many trips as necessary to get your guests home safely. If you aren’t able to have a “sober driver” plan, make sure to have the phone numbers available for cabs, Uber or other forms of sober transportation or make your home available for guests to spend the night.
You may do everything right by planning ahead, by arranging for or being the designated driver, but that can’t stop other people who choose to drink and drive from crashing into your vehicle. To reduce the risk of a serious accident, try to avoid driving in areas where there are greater chances of encountering a drunk driver, such as near a university or where there are several clubs grouped together.