Every day, many people drink and drive without seeing the harm it can cause. Choosing to drive yourself home when you are impaired by alcohol is putting not only your own life at risk but also that of anyone else on the road while you are driving.
Even a small amount of alcohol can lead to harmful situations. Some drivers may not even show warning signs of being under the influence, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less dangerous. Here are a few more things we can all do to prevent our family and friends from drink driving this holiday season.
Many of you know family members who drink too much at holiday parties. You recognize your husband, boyfriend, sister, or mother risks his or her life and the lives of others when he or she gets behind the wheel in an intoxicated state. Take a stand and be firm. No drinking and driving.
- Offer to take your family member to the party and pick him up afterwards.
- Arrange a ride with a responsible friend or a cab.
- If you are a parent worried that your teenager or young adult may drink and drive, try to establish an understanding or agreement on the subject. Explain that you are available 24/7 to pick your child up, wherever he is, if he or his friends believe he is too intoxicated to drive.
We hear it repeated again and again, but it’s true! Friends! Don’t let friends drive drunk. Do what it takes to keep an intoxicated friend from getting behind the wheel. Take his keys away. Move his car to a place where he can’t find it. Drive him home yourself. Call a cab, if you can’t drive him home either because you don’t have a car or because you’ve had too much to drink yourself.
Yes, you. You have a role to play in keeping drunk drivers off the roads. Watch out for them as you travel the highways and roads over the holidays. If you see driver conduct that suggests a motorist is driving while intoxicated, call the police and report the suspicious behavior immediately. Give location, type of vehicle, and license plate number whenever possible.
For your own safety, think twice before you travel the roads and highways late at night during the Holidays. There are more intoxicated drivers on the road in the late evening and early morning hours. And be selfish! Don’t get into a car or onto a motorcycle operated by someone you know has had too much to drink!
No one is more responsible for preventing drunk driving than you, the driver. No excuses! If you drink, you can’t drive.
- Line up a sober driver to take you home if you anticipate drinking alcohol during an evening out.
- Call a cab or a friend you trust to drive you home ones you take in too much alcohol.
- Watch what you drink and eat. Never drink too much too quickly. Put soft drinks into your mix of beverages. Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Make sure you eat food at the same time you’re drinking.
- Stay overnight in a nearby hotel or motel, if you’re going to attend a party and you know you want to have more than one or two drinks during the evening. That way you can walk to your hotel room after the party’s over.
Most of us enjoy hosting holiday parties for friends and family. However, with the decision to serve alcoholic beverages comes the responsibility to make certain our guests don’t leave the party so impaired that they are unable to drive safely.
- Serve a variety of food, coffee, and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Keep an eye on your guests as you circulate during the party. If you observe someone take more than one or two alcoholic drinks or you see someone who shows signs of intoxication, be pro-active. Determine whether the person expects to drive himself home. If so, intervene and ensure that a sober driver takes him.
- Provide a list of phone numbers for local cab companies and post it for your guests.
- Take the keys away and call a cab. Or call a family member or friend to give your guest a sober ride. If you can’t take care of the situation on your own, ask his friends (or yours) to help.
Safety tips from: Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety.
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