According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a higher percentage (42%) of DUI deaths will occur over this holiday period than other holidays from drinking and driving. Does this mean you will have to sit at home and avoid the New Year’s Eve celebrations? No, it simply means you need to take some precautions to protect yourself over this holiday season.
Steps to protect yourself from a DUI Death
The first step to protect you from a DUI death is not to drink and drive. This should be a common adage most of us know by now, but with an estimated 10,000 people killed each year in alcohol-related accidents, it is worth repeating.
Another option is to determine if your city offers any type of special cab service. For instance, in the city of Topeka, AAA and the Yellow Cab of Topeka will be providing “Care Cab” within the Topeka city limits.
According to reports from AAA, “This service runs between 8 p.m. New Year’s Eve and 4 a.m. New Year’s Day, providing a free ride home from a drinking establishment or party. The program will NOT provide a cab ride from one drinking establishment to another, nor will it provide a ride from a residence to a drinking establishment or party.” For more information about this program you can call 357-4444, and callers MUST ask for a “Care Cab” ride.
Another option is to designate a driver in advance who will not be drinking. Experts note this does not mean that you should pick the person in your party who has drunk the least.
What else can you do to avoid a DUI death? You may need to take the keys away from someone who is attempting to drive, call the police if you encounter an impaired driver on the road, or avoid getting into the car with anyone who has been drinking, even if they appear to be sober. All of these actions may not only save your life, but also the life of another person.
Finally, remember there are other intoxicants besides alcohol that can impair one’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. For instance, there are many drugs, even over-the-counter or prescription medications, which may have side-effects which can put you or another person at risk for injury or DUI death. This issue may be even more pronounced this holiday season with certain states legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.
How much does a DUI arrest and conviction cost?
If these steps seem extreme you may need to consider the full cost of a DUI arrest. Many drivers do not realize that in many states a DUI conviction cannot be expunged from their drivingl record. They also do not realize that they can potentially face jail time, high fines, high fees, increased insurance costs, and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device if they are convicted of DUI.
Why not take the care and time to protect yourself and others you love from a DUI death? Designate a driver or find a cab and make sure you get home safely.
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