The December holiday season is the “most wonderful time of the year,” but too often it serves as an excuse to over indulge on alcohol. The excitement and celebrations of the holiday season can lead to terrible decisions – and serious legal consequences.
Data shows that the holiday season is a particularly deadly time due to the increased number of drunk drivers on the roads. Nationally, in the Decembers from 2007 to 2011 there were 4,169 people killed in crashes that involved drivers with illegal blood alcohol concentrations.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 32,367 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes across the nation in 2011, and 31 percent (9,878) of those fatalities occurred in drunk-driving-related crashes.
Drunk drivers often face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, to lost wages due to time off from work. Even worse, a drunk driver can cause a traffic crash that claims someone’s life, or their own.
Please follow these tips to keep the holidays safe and happy:
• Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk—or worse, the risk of having a crash while driving.
• If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Plan ahead; designate a sober driver before the party begins.
• If you have been drinking, do not drive. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, use public transportation.
• Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel.
• If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life, and inaction could cost a life.
After all, one of the most important first New Year’s resolutions one can make is to not to drink and drive.