It wouldn’t be New Years without some resolutions for the coming year, and we at Ernenwein & Johnson would like you to add one to your list: no more drinking and driving. Each year, more than 10,000 people are killed in drunk driving accidents nationwide—70 of which take place on New Year’s Day alone, making it the most dangerous day of the year.
To help get the year started off on the right foot, here are some tips to ensure you’re celebrating safely:
DESIGNATE A NON-DRINKING DRIVER
Having a Designated Driver (AKA, a “DD”) has become an essential element of a fun night out when alcohol is involved. In fact, the concept has even been promoted in advertisements for alcoholic beverages as part of a responsible drinking campaign to further reinforce the idea. Although everyone may understand that having a DD is the responsible thing to do, many find themselves feeling sympathetic towards their DD and look the other way when they end up having “just one or two drinks” so that they can enjoy themselves too.
However, that feeling of sympathy will quickly disappear when you inevitably approach one of the many DUI checkpoints while out tonight.
If you really want to express your feelings of sympathy and gratitude towards your DD, there are a number of different ways to do so such as paying for gas or buying them dinner. Also, if you ask, bartenders will often provide free non-alcoholic beverages to Designated Drivers, which will come in handy at the countdown toast!
USE ONE OF THE MANY AVAILABLE NO-COST TRANSPORTATION SERVICES
If you’re unable to find a DD, or your DD ends up drinking during the course of the night, make sure you take advantage of one of these free transportation services available in Los Angeles County for tonight only:
• L.A. Metro: Free fares from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
• AAA Tipsy Tow (1-800-400-4AAA): Have you and your car towed home, even if you’re not a member
PREVENT DRUNK DRIVING WHEN YOU SEE IT
In a survey conducted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), 73% of adults said they have seen an intoxicated person try to drive home. More importantly, 19% of those people didn’t do anything to try and stop them. If you find yourself in that situation tonight, here are some tips to prevent someone from driving drunk:
• Be as non-confrontational as possible
• Try and use peer pressure by having others say the same thing
• Have the number ready for a cab or, better yet, AAA Tipsy Tow (above)