It’s no coincidence that December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. The holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is one of the busiest and most dangerous times to be on the roads. Since there are many occasions to celebrate, there is a dramatic increase in alcohol and drug-related accidents.
Every year in the U.S., nearly 2,000 people are killed in alcohol and drug-related crashes during the holidays and thousands more are injured. Whether you plan on hosting or attending a holiday party, it is important to have a plan in place prior to the party- not only for yourself but for your guests. Assign a designated driver, have your party use a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft to get home safely.
Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Probably okay, isn’t okay. Even just one or two drinks can be what it takes to cause a driver to lose the ability to react appropriately while driving. A small amount of alcohol can impair important skills that are needed to drive safety, including the ability to react quickly, clear vision, concentration, and judgment.
Florida Statute §319.193 defines “Driving Under the Influence (DUI)” as anyone who is driving under the influence of alcohol, chemical, controlled substances or who has a blood or breath alcohol level of .08 or above. The penalties are provided for in §316.193(2) and range from $500 to imprisonment or residential alcohol or drug treatment facilities. Even first offense DUI accidents involving property damage, serious bodily injury or death can result in prison time.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, planning is the key to driving safely or hosting a safe party during the holidays.
If you are hosting a holiday party, consider these tips for keeping your guests safe:
- Upon greeting all guests, find out what their plans are for the evening. Know ahead of time if they will be drinking and how they will be getting home.
- Don’t let guests mix their own drinks. Assign a “bartender” who can keep track of the size and number of drinks consumed.
- Serve plenty of food along with drinks.
- As host, you should be sober and in control of the event. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to someone who has had way too much: “No, you can’t have another drink,” and “No, you can’t have your car keys.”
- About 90 minutes before the party ends, close the “bar” and serve dessert and coffee. This will give guests some time to sober up.
- Coffee will not speed up sobriety. Only time can make a person sober.
You don’t have to be drinking or even celebrating to be in danger on the streets during the holidays. Be especially careful driving at night during the season. Partygoers are more likely to be on the road at night and the later it gets, the more likely that drivers might be intoxicated. No matter what, everyone in the car should always wear a seatbelt. This is your best defense against impaired drivers.
INVOLVED IN A DRUNK DRIVING RELATED ACCIDENT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON? HELP IS HERE.
Our firm regularly represents victims involved in drunk driving accidents and clients who have been injured due to the poor decision-making of an intoxicated driver who chooses to get behind the wheel. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Florida, it is very important to consult with an experienced Miami auto accident attorney immediately. Spencer Aronfeld is a Board Certified Trial Lawyer, and he and the lawyers at Aronfeld Trial Lawyers understand Florida’s complex personal injury laws. Since 1991 we have fought hard to protect the legal rights of the injured and their families. Contact us today and speak with an experienced attorney toll free at 1-866-597-4529, local 305-441-0440, or by email. We offer a free initial consultation at your home, office, hotel, or hospital.