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Don't Let A Christmas Party Turn Into a Tragedy

Don't Let A Christmas Party Turn Into a Tragedy

We're headed full speed into the holiday season and that means work parties, neighborhood socials and and festive holiday dinners.  You know what's coming next, right? Our annual holiday reminder never to drink and drive, but to instead plan ahead, designate a driver or take an Uber or Lyft ride home.  We join the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in urging you to please not drink and drive this holiday season.

The Statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that although impaired driving is a dangerous and prevalent problem year-round, the winter holiday period is particularly deadly.  Here are some of the stats:

  • During the 2016-2020 December months, there were more than 4,400 people killed in drunk-driving-related crashes.
  • Drunk male drivers were involved in fatal crashes at a much higher rate (660) in December 2020 compared to female drivers (191).
  • Male drivers were three times more likely to be involved in an alcohol-related fatal motor vehicle traffic crash than females in December 2020.
  • Young drivers ages 21-34 accounted for the highest percentage (26%) of alcohol-impaired fatalities in December 2020.
  • Nighttime driving in December 2020 was significantly more dangerous than daytime driving, with 30% of drunk-driving-related crashes occurring between the hours of 6 p.m. and 5:50 a.m. Almost half (44%) occur between the hours of midnight and 2:59 a.m., likely when bars are closing and people are driving home.

Keep Holiday Party Guests Safe

If you are hosting a holiday party, follow these tips to help keep them from driving under the influence:

  • Encourage guests to designate a sober driver in advance. Reward designated drivers with a small gift or door prize.
  • Provide plenty of food and nonalcoholic drinks for guests.
  • Stop serving alcohol at least an hour before your event is scheduled to end.
  • Keep an eye out for anyone who appears to have had too much to drink and take the keys from anyone who has.
  • Keep the phone number for local cab companies or ride-share services handy.

You could be held responsible for serving alcohol to a guest who later is involved in an accident and imagine the guilt you’d feel if your guest got hurt or killed or did this to someone else.

It takes planning and coordination, but you can prevent drunk driving.  

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Image Courtesy: NHTSA.