National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month: Staying Safe This December

December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month! According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 33,561 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2012, and 10,322 of those fatalities occurred in drunk-driving-related crashes. More than one in five crash fatalities that year occurred in a crash that involved a drunk driver with a BAC at or above .15, – almost double the legal limit. With all the holiday parties and festivities, now is a good time to refresh on the best ways to stay safe and keep people off the road who are impaired.

Never Drive While Intoxicated

It might seem obvious, but the best way to stay safe is to never drive drunk, drugged, or under the influence of any substance. Avoid drinking any alcohol for at least an hour before driving (substantially more if you’ve been drinking more than that). Especially during the holidays, where eggnog and seasonal cocktails are popular, you should be absolutely certain you’re safe enough to drive.

Make Sure No One Is Drinking and Driving Themselves Home

No matter where you are, pay attention to who has been drinking and whether they are driving themselves home. If you’re throwing a party, have everyone who is drinking place their keys in a basket when they arrive, and do not give it back if they’ve drunk too much. It might be uncomfortable, but it is well worth it in the long run. 

Have Designated Drivers Every Time Alcohol Is Involved

If you’re planning an outing with some friends at a bar or restaurant that serves drinks, plan for one person to avoid all drinks and drive people home. This designated driver position can help stop people from making a last-minute decision at the end of the night and can make sure everyone is enjoying themselves and unconcerned with driving home safely.

Stop Serving Alcohol An Hour Before The Party Ends

The best rule of thumb is that one drink takes about an hour for your body to process it, so you can help make sure everyone gets home safe by removing the alcohol an hour before the party is over. While it’s definitely not a perfect solution, it does help you reduce the chances that someone will make the wrong decision when it comes time to leave.