It’s the holidays and that means there are loads of Holiday Cheer to be found everywhere you go. Plus, it goes without saying that some of that Holiday Cheer is bound to be alcoholic beverages. As well it should be! It’s been a hard year and things are beginning to look up. Bringing in a New Year is a time to kick back, relax, reflect and plan for the upcoming year. Why not have a drink or two with friends? But when you do have some drinks, keep in mind that you don’t want 2014 to begin on a sour note – if you drink, make sure you have a designated driver. We can’t stress this fact enough. Have fun, but be safe and don’t drink and drive.
To help drive that fact home, following are some sobering facts about drinking and driving from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Between 60% and 80% of drivers with suspended licenses continue to drive. Odds are that a percentage of those will also not use good sense and may drive after having some drinks. When you are sober and have all of your faculties working, the odds are in your favor that you can avoid an incident with impaired drivers.
- 14% of all intoxicated drivers involved in accidents resulting in fatalities were driving with a suspended or revoked license.
- Drunken drivers drive drunk 200 to 2,000 times before they ever get caught and arrested!
There are no good reasons to operate a car after drinking. You put yourself, your family, friends and other drivers in danger. Conversely, there are many great reasons to leave the driving to a designated driver or other form of transportation such as a taxi, bus, etc. You’re not only protecting yourself and your family and friends; you’re also increasing the safety odds for everyone else on the road. And don’t fall prey to myths and misconceptions about quick sobering fixes. They don’t work! For instance:
- The type of alcohol you consume does not make any difference in your level of impairment – it’s the number of drinks you’ve had over a certain period of time that counts. Beer and wine are not “safer” and less likely to make you more drunk than a mixed drink containing liquor. According to the NHTSA, beer is the most common type of alcoholic beverage involved in both DUI (driving under the influence) arrests and fatal crashes.
- Quick sobering cures like coffee, cold showers or exercise will not make a person sober. Time is the only cure. The body needs at least six hours to eliminate a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 from its system.
The point of these statistics is not to put a damper on your holiday plans. It’s merely to emphasize that every injury or death caused by drunk driving is 100% preventable. Yes, it’s true that the number of alcohol-related incidents has decreased over the past few decades. But that doesn’t mean we’ve won the fight. There are still too many preventable incidents and each of us needs to do our part in ensuring that everyone has not only a safe Holiday season, but a safe 2014 also.
Our Holiday wish is that you safely usher in 2014 and have a prosperous and healthy year.