With the holidays just around the corner, it’s important to keep responsible drinking and driving practices in mind. In fact, it’s so important that each year the President of the United States declares December to be National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. An impaired driver is unable to determine driving conditions or properly asses the consequences of their actions due to compromised judgement. Therefore, an impaired driver puts their own life at risk as well as the lives of many other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
DID YOU KNOW?
- More than 42% of traffic accidents on New Year’s Eve are a result of drinking and driving
- 70% of holiday drunk driving deaths are caused by drivers with a BAC of 0.15 or higher. The legal limit in Virginia is 0.08 percent.
- Alcohol-impaired driving crashes account for roughly 1/3 of all traffic related deaths in the United States.
PLAN TO CELEBRATE WITHOUT DRINKING & DRIVING
Reconnecting and celebrating with loved ones is an important part of the holiday season. However, if your celebrations will involve drinking, be sure to come up with a strategy for getting to and from your destination without driving under the influence. Here are some tips for planning a safe holiday.
- If you plan to drink, establish a designated driver prior to going out
- If you don’t plan to drink, offer to be the designated driver so that friends and family have a safe ride home
- Install a ride hailing app on your smartphone, such as Uber or Lyft, in case you find yourself unexpectedly in need of a ride.
- If you are concerned that you may decide to drive after drinking, give your keys to someone responsible who will hold on to them so you cannot drive while impaired.
DISTRACTED DRIVING IS IMPAIRED DRIVING!
Impaired driving doesn’t only refer to a driver who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It also refers to distracted drivers! If you are using a cell phone or doing something else while driving, you are driving distracted. Studies show that people are 33% more likely to drive distracted during the holidays. When you are checking directions or updating loved ones of your travel status while driving, you are putting yourself and others at risk. This is just as dangerous as driving under the influence. Stay alert while driving and wait until you have reached a destination or pulled over before using your cell phone or engaging in any other activity. You can read more about distracted driving here.