During certain times of the year law enforcement attempts to match their level of presence with what they deem to be a more active DUI time. The winter holiday season national drunk-driving campaign “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” begins December 16 and runs through January 2. The new campaign features “invisible” police officers, who will be observing and ticketing alcohol-impaired individuals who try to get behind the wheel. In addition, police will be conducting traffic stops to catch offenders and spreading the word that drinking and driving don’t mix.
Here are some tips, brought to you by ConsumerReport.com, to keep in mind as you celebrate the holiday season:
- Have a designated driver. If you plan on traveling to a party, make sure you have a driver who will stay sober and be responsible for taking you home safely.
- Drop off your keys. If you don’t have a designated driver, give someone your keys so you aren’t tempted to get into the car after drinking.
- Pack a bag. If you plan to party hard and/or late, bring an overnight bag so that you are prepared to sleep over until you are sober and alert enough to drive home. In fact, make it part of your plans and everyone will sleep better.
- Use public transportation. Most cities with public transportation systems will have more buses and trains running throughout New Year’s Eve to help party-goers get home safely. Organizing a cab or even share one to reduce costs.
- Walking isn’t safer. You aren’t necessarily safer if you decide to hoof it after a few drinks instead of getting behind the wheel. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the first day of the New Year has the highest number of pedestrians killed than any other day throughout the year. If you must walk, go in a group and wear visible clothing, so that drivers can see you.
- Know where your children are. We’ve all heard that TV ad that says: “It’s 10 p.m., do you know where your children are?” Make sure you keep tabs on your kids if they are going to be out with friends this New Year’s. Coordinate with other parents to transport children home from parties and make sure they know the rules on drinking and driving.
- Coffee isn’t the cure. It’s a myth that coffee can help sober you up. Only time can do that, so stay put until you recover.