Appointing a designated driver, taking a cab, taking the night off from drinking, or staying over after a party are some of the ways people can avoid arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) or causing drunk driving crashes in the new year. New Year’s Eve, for instance, is an evening of reminiscing about the year behind and celebrating the beginning of the new year. With many people binge drinking, driving late at night, and driving in poor weather conditions, DUIs and auto accidents are more likely to occur. Revelers tend to ignore their own impairment and feel the pressure to get behind the wheel.
Alcohol’s sedative effects impair a driver’s coordination and information-processing skills. An impaired driver may be unable to perform routine driving maneuvers or avoid a car accident. This endangers the driver, the passengers, and everyone sharing the road, increasing the risk of accidents, injuries, and deaths.
Tips for Drivers to Avoid a New Year’s DUI and Car Accident
Choosing a Designated Driver (DD)
Having someone in a group stay sober while others indulge in alcoholic beverages is always a wise choice. A DD should be a responsible and reliable driver with a valid driver’s license. He or she should take the keys once everyone arrives at the party and be able to resist the temptation to drink to get everyone home safely. Some bars, nightclubs, or events will provide non-alcoholic drinks to designated drivers. The group should plan ahead before everyone starts drinking to avoid a situation where they have to rely on the “least drunk” person.
Calling a Taxi or Ride-Sharing Service
If a person is going out alone or everyone in the group is drinking, he or she should call a taxi or a ride-sharing service like Lyft or Uber to make sure he or she gets home safely. Spending a few bucks on a ride home is much better than risking everything that comes with a DUI.
Spending the Night
This may not work for a person who is out at a bar, but for those who are at a close friend’s house, partygoers can ask to crash on the couch or the floor for the night. Party hosts should make accommodations for their guests to spend the night by bringing a sleeping bag or offering a spare room. It is better to have a crowded house than to see a loved one involved in an accident. Alternatively, friends can attend a hotel party, so they can have all the fun they want and have a hotel room awaiting when the party is over.
The easiest way to prevent a DUI is to simply not drink. Friends can have a great night and keep themselves entertained with conversations, board games, or video games. A party host may serve non-alcoholic drinks and snacks to help guests have fun without having to consume alcohol.
DUI Checkpoints Increase During the Holidays
Because drinking tends to be more common during the holidays, many police departments increase the number of officers on patrol. DUI checkpoints are common on roads that lead to and from popular bars as the police crackdown on drunk driving. As a result, hundreds of DUI arrests are made on New Year’s Eve and the early hours of New Year’s Day. A DUI conviction can lead to jail time, significant fines, license suspension, and higher insurance costs.