AAA: Have a Game Plan to Prevent Drunk Driving This Sunday
AAA East Central is urging partygoers and party hosts to plan ahead to keep everyone safe this weekend. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities often spike on holidays and popular drinking days like Super Bowl Sunday. In 2021, there were 13,384 traffic deaths involving drunk driving.
“Even small amounts of alcohol can impair your judgment and make driving unsafe,” says Terri Rae Anthony, safety advisor for AAA East Central. “Drinking and driving is not a game. It’s a deadly combination, it’s a crime and it’s 100% preventable.”
Driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher is illegal and when it comes to drinking and driving, law enforcement doesn’t play around. Offenders can get pulled over, arrested, and prosecuted. The offense can also be expensive. According to NHTSA, the average DUI court case costs about $10,000.
Whether throwing a party or just attending one, there are steps to follow that will help protect everyone:
- Make plans to arrive safely. If alcohol is consumed, select a designated driver or use public transportation or rideshare service.
- Be a responsible host. Take car keys from guests as they arrive and don’t let them drive impaired. Compile a list of phone numbers for local cab companies and rideshare services should guests need a safe way home.
- Be a party MVP. Volunteer to be a designated driver. Let loved ones know when the party ends, they have a safe, sober ride home.
- Obey the law. Do not serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21.
- Consider an overnight stay. If attending a party at a friend’s house, consider asking to stay overnight. If participating in festivities in a downtown or commercial area, try to find a hotel within walking distance.
- Don’t drive hungover. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, hangover symptoms peak when the blood alcohol concentration in the body returns to near zero. Symptoms like fatigue, headaches, nausea, and sleep deprivation can last 24 hours or longer.
- Always buckle up. Seat belts are the best defense if there is a crash.
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