Monday, December 28, 2009

Sue Scheff: Drunk Driving Prevention

New Year's Eve is this week! During the holiday season the increase in drunk driving is a major concern. What many don't think about is buzzed driving harms the same way drunk driving does.

Here are some tips to prevent drunk driving during New Year's Eve from

Step 1: Plan ahead. Discuss with your friends a plan for all of you to return home safely. You can pick a designated driver, arrange for someone who has not been drinking to pick you up or plan to use public transportation or a cab. Arrange to pick up the car the following day.
Step 2: Drive home a friend who has had too much to drink. That way you will know that your friend did not accept a ride from a stranger, drive herself or otherwise risk her life and the lives of others.
Step 3: Invite the person who has had too much to drink to sleep over. He won't have to return for his car the next day, and everyone remains safe.
Step 4: Take the keys. Be calm and firm, but be certain to take the keys away from anyone who drinks too much and intends to drive. You can be proactive and take the keys early in the evening. If the person is sober, you can easily give back her keys.
Step 5: If you don't know the person well, enlist help in getting the keys. Ask a bartender for help. Many bars have plans in place to deal with drivers who drink too much, especially on New Year's Eve. Do not hesitate to ask a friend, a host or a family member for assistance.

Tips & Warnings

Remember the saying, "Friends don't let friends drink and drive." (or buzzed!)

Don't take a chance that lack of action on your part might make it possible for an accident to occur.

Do not rely on someone's physical appearance to determine her state of intoxication.

In some communities, you may be legally liable if an accident occurs as the result of someone drinking too much alcohol that was provided by you.

Take the pledge to eliminate drunk driving. Visit MADD.

Remember, Buzzed Driving is drunk driving! Watch video.

Have a safe and healthy New Year!

Also on Examiner.

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