Start the New Year off on the right foot
December 26th, 2018 | Joseph A. Quinn, Jr.
The tradition of celebrating the end of the year and a fresh start to the New Year, 2019 is right upon us. How you choose to celebrate can start the New Year off on the right foot.
Attorney Joseph A. Quinn, Jr., Senior Principal of HKQ Law says, “We urge you to please don’t drink and drive. Each year, more than 10,000 people have died and 290,000 were injured in drunk driving crashes. On average, that is one person every 51 minutes. And, over 28 million people have admitted to driving under the influence. New Year’s Day holds the highest number of overall incidences.”
The highest rate of drunk driving is among 26-29 year olds, (20.7%) and almost one-third of all drivers who have been arrested or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders.
Pennsylvania enforces the .08 Per Se Law that states it is illegal to drive with .08 Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). BAC is the most accurate and measurable gauge of how much alcohol is in someone’s blood. At a .08 BAC level, a driver is 11 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than someone who had nothing to drink. At a .08 BAC, drivers had trouble controlling speed, processing information and reasoning, reduced coordination and inability to track objects, and difficulty steering.
There are a few simple steps you can take to stay safe while celebrating.
Plan ahead, assign a designated driver. If you are planning on drinking, assign a designated driver to make sure that you and everyone with you arrives home safely. If there is no designated driver, then make sure you have the phone number of a local cab service or shuttle service tucked in your pocket, or a public transportation app installed on your smartphone before you go out. If you are at a hotel, consider staying the night.
Designate a “key drop”. If you are hosting a party, be sure to have an area for a “key drop”. Control alcohol consumption and offer non-alcoholic mocktails as an alternative. Provide plenty of food, and avoid very salty foods, which may cause your guests to drink more. Insist that any of your guests that may have over-indulged, stay the night, or have a responsible way home. Do not allow them to drive drunk. Offer complimentary shuttle rides home.
Plan wisely. Choose alternate activities that do not focus on alcohol. Enjoy great food, music and company without any interferences.
Above all, celebrate responsibly. Don’t drink and drive, start the new year right. Enjoy a healthy and safe 2019!