How to prevent impaired driving this holiday season

7:41 AM, Dec 10, 2018

The holiday season is a time for celebrating and socializing, and that means more people than usual will be drinking alcohol. While this can make for a fun evening with family and friends, it can also put people at risk for impaired driving. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, "approximately one-third of all deaths on our roads involve drunk drivers."

There are other consequences besides death. If you're pulled over for impaired driving you could also have your car towed, be arrested, lose your driver's license and be faced with up to $10,000 in court costs, lost wages, attorney fees and the cost of paying your DUI ticket.

While the most obvious way to avoid impaired driving would be not to drink at all, there is a balance you can strike that can allow you to enjoy the season without putting yourself or others at risk.

Drink from home

You can avoid the issue of driving altogether if you consume your booze at home. Try looking up some fun, festive recipes and possibly discover a new favorite drink. The Food Network lists holiday-themed drink recipes like Candy Cane Cocktail, Santa's Sleigh Eggnog Martini, Hot Buttered Rum or Pomegranate Sangria.

Have a party plan

If you invite people over for drinks, make sure you have a plan for getting them home safe. For instance, limit how many drinks each person can have and stop serving alcohol an hour or two before the party is over. Offer small cups to help control portion sizes. If you don't want the responsibility of counting drinks or monitoring alcohol intake, consider hiring a caterer or bartender who can take care of that for you.

Serving food will help take the edge off intoxication, as it can help people fill up in other ways. Just avoid too many salty foods that might make people more thirsty.

Despite best-laid plans, party guests might still drink a little too much. Have plans in place for getting them home or be prepared to offer a sofa or guest bed if it turns out they can't safely get themselves home.

Use a ride-share service

If you're going out to a party or a bar, you know the drill when it comes to getting home safe. Buzzed driving can be the same as impaired driving. If you're going with a group, decide before you head out who the designated driver will be and make sure he or she is the only one with keys.

Alternatively, ride-share services are more ubiquitous than ever. Lyft and Uber are two options for getting home after a night of drinking. Just download the app before you go so all you have to do is press the "ride" button at the end of the night. You can share the ride to cut down on the cost, as well.

Be a defensive driver

Even the soberest driver can still be the victim of a DUI accident because, unfortunately, not everyone will drive sober this holiday season. It's important to be extra vigilant on the roads around holidays, allowing for extra following distance and keeping your eyes on the road at all times.

Accidents can happen and victims need an attorney they can trust. The personal injury attorneys at Ed Bernstein & Associates have more than 40 years experience in personal injury law and understand its finer nuances. Visit edbernstein.com or call (702) 240-0000 to find out how to get started on the road to recovery.

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