Here are just a few tips to keep in mind:
Drunk driving not only affects the person driving; it is also dangerous for anyone sharing the roads. Statistically speaking:
- 91+ million Americans take holiday road trips between December 23 and January 3
- 41 percent of highway deaths that occur during the Christmas Holiday and 58 percent during the New Year's Holiday are alcohol related. That is up from the 29 percent average of alcohol related deaths that occur during the rest of the year.
1. Don't drink and drive
The obvious answer to avoiding a DUI during the holidays is to not drink or assign a designated driver if you plan on drinking. This is the best way to keep the roads safer for everyone.
2. Politely decline
Alcohol is a common staple at many holiday gatherings. Just because it's there does not require that you drink it. Partygoers should not feel like they have to drink just because a host offers — it is not rude to choose a non-alcoholic beverage instead.
3. Choose your number ahead of time
If you are going to drink, do what responsible drinkers do — decide ahead of time how many drinks you will have and stick to it. One drink = 1.5 ounces of hard liquor, 12 ounces of beer, or five ounces of wine. Space your drinks out and alternate alcoholic beverages with water.
4. There's an App for That
There are several free or low-cost DUI apps that can help users understand just how impaired they are. A small sampling includes:
- DrinkTracker (iOS) & AlcoDroid (Android). Both apps allow users to log alcohol intake, estimating BAC over time, based on a profile that factors gender, age, height and weight.
- Have a Plan (Android, iOS, Windows Phone). This app encourages users to always "Have a Plan" when drinking. Users can input a list of contacts to call for a ride and can use the 'get a ride' function to locate a taxi service. The app will also provide a BAC estimate based on the number of drinks consumed.
- Breathometer (Android, iOS) & Alcohoot (Android, iOS). Both apps act as personal breathalyzer tests with external devices that connect to an audio jack to take a real-time BAC reading. Both apps also feature options to help users locate alternative transportation.
5. Be a responsible friend
If you are faced with a situation where someone who's impaired is trying to drive, be as non-confrontational as possible and suggest alternate ways of getting to their destination. Take another friend with you to help or act as moral support — it's more difficult to say "no" to multiple people than one. If possible, get the person's keys. If all else fails, call law enforcement. It's better to have a friend arrested than injured or killed.