new years eve

11 tips for a safe New Year’s Eve

As talked about in a previous blog post, December is National Impaired Driving Prevention month due to the high number of deadly car crashes, with 830 who lost their lives due to drunk driving in 2012. Some of the reasons for the increased number of crashes is because there is more traffic and access to alcohol because of the holidays.

Do your part to help prevent impaired driving this New Year’s Eve. Here are 11 tips for a safe New Year’s Eve:

If you’re hosting a party, strategically plan (tips from Mothers Against Drunk Driving)

  • Plan activities like party games or door prizes. Planned activities engage people, make for less active consumption of alcohol, and ensure that your friends remember the great event long after the last piece of confetti has settled.
  • As guests RSVP, confirm that at least one person in each group is prepared to be the sober designated driver and/or has a plan to get home.
  • Provide plenty of food to keep your guests from drinking on an empty stomach.
  • Avoid too many salty snacks, which tend to make people thirsty and drink more.
  • Offer non-alcoholic beverages or “mocktails” for designated drivers and others who prefer not to drink alcohol.
  • If preparing an alcoholic punch, use a non-carbonated base, like fruit juice. Alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream faster with a carbonated base.
  • Be prepared by having the number of a taxi service on hand for those who need a ride. Also, be ready with some clean linens so you can turn your sofa into a bed for guests who need to sleep it off.

If you’re going out, prevent impaired driving

  • Plan ahead for a sober driver, using a taxi or public transportation. If you decide on a designated driver, have cash and the local taxi’s information just in case.
  • Don’t let someone behind the wheel who is impaired. Calmly talk to the driver and explain that you don’t want them to hurt themselves or others. If you can, try to take their keys. If all else fails, call the police. It’s better to have the police handle the situation and lead to a possible arrest than to have your friend injure or kill themselves or someone else.
  • Call 911 to report a suspected an impaired driver. If you suspect a drunk or drugged driver, stay away from the car and take note of the license place and car color and model. Call the police to give them the car information and location and direction the car is headed.
  • Talk to your loved ones about the dangers of impaired driving.