How to Celebrate the New Year Safely

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Each year, more than 10,000 people are killed in drunk driving crashes and the risk of sharing the road with a drunk driver is even higher on holidays, like New Year’s. In fact, New Year’s Day is the most dangerous day of the year for drunk driving on our nation’s roadways.

On New Year’s Day in 2012 – after the midnight toasts – 70 people were killed in drunk driving crashes nationwide, representing over half of all traffic fatalities.

Together, we can make this holiday, and every day, safe for traveling. Please use these tips to plan a safe New Year’s celebration for everyone:

Going out?

  • Designate a non-drinking driver to make sure you—and everyone with you—arrive home safely.
  • Save the number of a local cab service in your phone prior to heading out, consider hiring a shuttle or limousine service to transport you and your friends to and from your event, or arrange a hotel stay for you and your friends on the evening of the event so no one drives home impaired.
  • Don’t get in a car with someone who has been drinking.

Planning a party?

  • Plan activities like party games or door prizes. Planned activities engage people, make for less active consumption of alcohol, and ensure that your friends remember the great event long after the last piece of confetti has settled.
  • As guests RSVP, confirm that at least one person in each group is prepared to be the sober designated driver and/or has a plan to get home.
  • Provide plenty of food to keep your guests from drinking on an empty stomach.
  • Offer non-alcoholic beverages or “mocktails” for designated drivers and others who prefer not to drink alcohol.
  • Be prepared by having the number of a taxi service on hand for those who need a ride. Also, be ready with some clean linens so you can turn your sofa into a bed for guests who need to sleep it off.
  • View our safe party guide for more handy host or hostess tips.

Prevent drunk driving.

In a survey we conducted earlier this year, 73 percent of adults said they have been at an event and seen someone try to drive home after drinking too much. And of those, 19% didn’t do anything to stop them.  Click here to see the infographic from this survey.

The best way to prevent someone from driving drunk is to make a plan for a non-drinking designated driver, and make sure everyone agrees to it ahead of time. If you are faced with a situation where someone who’s impaired is trying to drive, click here for tips on how to stop them.

You can make celebrating the New Year a true celebration by preventing drunk driving and saving lives.

Happy New Year’s!