December is Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month, which is a national effort hoping to raise awareness about the consequences of driving under the influence. The National Commission Against Drunk Driving reports 41% of all traffic crashes are alcohol-related. It is estimated that 30% of Americans are at risk for being involved in alcohol-related traffic crash over their lifetime. Drinking and driving affects everyone; because the costs of alcohol-related crashes ($51 billion) gets passed on to taxpayers, employers, families as well as to the drunk driver.
Most of these accidents and deaths are related to binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined for males as five or more drinks per occasion and for females, four or more drinks per occasion. Since alcohol becomes more available in social settings during the holidays, the risk of drunk driving and being a victim of a drunk driver, increase dramatically. There are some things you can do to help reduce the numbers of impaired drivers the during the holiday season:
- If you are going to drink , get a designated driver, either a friend, or a cab.
- If you serve alcohol at your home, check ID’s. Provide alcohol to people of legal age (21 years of age and older). The risk of being in a crash is much greater for minors( under 21) than for adults (21 and older).
- If you host at home, make sure to offer non-alcoholic beverages for those who chose not to drink.
- Check on friends and family, make them aware about the consequences of their decisions, and don’t be afraid to get them a cab. They will appreciate it the next day, even though they may try to assure they were “okay to drive.”
By using these tips, you can make the Holidays a safer and more enjoyable season for your family, your friends and yourself.
Register for online DUI and Alcohol Awareness Classes at http://www.tomwilsoncounseling.com/.