The holidays are here and you may have friendly get-togethers, family celebrations, and company parties flooding your calendar the rest of year. For the most part, these parties all have one thing in common (or several, if you include things like ugly sweaters and “yummy” fruitcakes). You’re probably planning on having a drink or two at a few of these soirées. Hey, you put in an awesome year – you’ve earned it.
But here’s what most happy party people may forget – while Susan from Accounting is dancing on the eggnog table and you’re calling her a cab. . .
. . . you may also be unfit to drive after only a drink or two.
There is no accurate way to estimate BAC unless you have a mobile testing lab set up in your car. There are a lot of factors that can play into underestimating or misjudging your BAC like your metabolism and alcohol tolerance. The facts don’t lie. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, of the 1,180 people killed in U.S. traffic accidents between December 18th and the 31st of 2013, around 30% involved drunk driving. Moreover, drunk driving was the cause of over 3,800 December fatalities from 2009-2013.
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This year, like many holidays before, law enforcement is stepping in and cracking down. Across the country, officers will be actively looking for impaired drivers through more vigilant observation and additional organized checkpoints. Even when you think you’re “okay to drive,” remember that buzzed driving is drunk driving and, especially this holiday season, it can get you in a lot of hot water. If it doesn’t cost you your life or someone else’s, it could costs you up to $10,000 in fines, fees, and insurance hikes. Considering that you’re gambling with the lives of everyone every driver on the road with you when you drive drunk or even buzzed, this punishment seems pretty fair.
The only way to avoid driving while buzzed (both protecting yourself and committing to a larger effort to drink responsibly and keep our communities safe) is to decide ahead of time that after consuming alcohol, driving will not be an option. There are a few easy alternatives, such as cabs, designated drivers, and more. Do your research, make your decision ahead of time, and don’t allow yourself or your friends to drive drunk
So go ahead, ladle out another cup of eggnog and climb up on the table with Susan from Accounting. You’ll have a lot more fun knowing that your means of getting home is already decided on and arranged.