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Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Drinking and Driving During the Holidays
The festive nature of the holiday season provides us with some temptations that could lead to a dangerous driving situation. The obvious problem is alcohol consumption. That after-work party with a bit of spiked punch sounds innocent enough until you consider that, even if you are just slightly buzzed, you are still impaired. Alcohol takes time to metabolize out of the system and the daily commute is hazardous enough without adding alcohol to the problem. Remember that, even if you aren’t at fault in a collision, if the officer suspects that you have been drinking, you will be presumed to have contributed to the collision or to have been at fault. You could be charged with DUI and the insurance won’t pay a penny.
If you attend an evening party, it may be OK to have a small drink at the beginning of the evening so long as you know you will be there long enough for the alcohol to metabolize out of your system before you leave. If your plans include drinking during the party, make sure you have a designated driver or an alternative means of getting home.
If you are hosting a party where alcohol will be served you need to be aware that you can be sued if someone leaves your place and is involved in an alcohol related collision. To protect yourself, you need to ensure that all your guests have a designated driver to drive them home or that they call a cab. To be a really good host, you could consider not drinking anything yourself and offering your services as a designated driver to get your friends home. Also you should ensure that there are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks available for your guests. There are a lot of options; just make sure you choose the ones that are safest for your guests and that protect you as a homeowner.
If you don’t plan to attend any parties on New Year’s Eve, stay off the roads. There are just too many drunks out on the road on that night and that makes it dangerous for even the safest driver.
Remember these facts about alcohol:
• Alcohol is the same, no matter what form it takes. A 12 oz. can of beer has roughly the same amount of alcohol as a 6 oz. glass of wine and a 1.5 oz. shot of whiskey.
• Alcohol takes time to metabolize out of your system. Drinking coffee won’t speed up that time one bit.
• Be aware that drinking on an empty stomach will allow the alcohol to enter your bloodstream much faster.
• Know what you are drinking. If you don’t know exactly what is contained in that holiday punch, you could be consuming much more alcohol than you imagined.
Keep your holidays safe and festive. Don’t allow a poor choice to ruin the holidays for you.
For more articles on holiday safety visit our website at http://www.nationalsafetycommission.com.
Here’s wishing you a safe and happy holiday season.