Avoid Driving Drunk This New Years, Programs In FL And Alternatives
Drunk driving is a major problem in the United States, and New Year’s Eve is an especially dangerous night of the year for this destructive behavior. Taking steps to ensure your safety is important when you’re planning your evening, so let’s get into some statistics and resources you can use to stay safe this holiday season.
How large of a problem is drunk driving?
In 2015 alone, more than ten thousand people died in alcohol-related crashes. This statistic accounts for 29% of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S.! Nearly 1.1 million drivers were arrested for alcohol-impaired related driving, and that’s just one percent of the 111 million self-reported impaired-driving incidents among U.S. drivers every year.
Bold Programs to Combat The Issue
In Florida, December is Impaired Driving Prevention Month, and officers across the state are joining together to educate motorists about impaired driving. The Florida Highway Patrol’s Safe Holiday Travel campaign corresponds with increased patrols on Florida’s roadways during the busy holiday season.
The “Arrive Alive” push has helped Florida’s alcohol related crash rates decrease 15% since 2014, and because December is the most dangerous time of the year for impaired driving, Florida troopers intend to aggressively enforce impaired driving laws.
Remember that only people 21 or older can legally drink, and that the BAC limit in Florida for drivers over 21 is .08, and for those under 21, the BAC limit is just .02%.
Avoiding Drunk Driving
Driving safely is everyone’s business, so take advantage of sober ride programs.
Florida is a participant to AAA’s Tow to Go program, which offers members and nonmembers free rides home on New Year’s Eve. More than 24,000 people have used the service since it’s origination in 1997.
Your local public transportation system may offer free rides on the night of New Year’s Even to reduce drunk driving in your city. Plan ahead, and know where nearby bus stops are around your destination.
Ride sharing apps like Lyft and Uber are a reliable way to have a safe and fun night out, because they’ll pick you up wherever you are and take you where you need to go. Prices rise on big nights like New Year’s Eve, so expect to pay a bit more than usual. To cut costs, share the ride with a friend and split the fare.
Regular taxis are also a good option, and many modern cab services have very easy to use apps that call cabs. Of course, you can also call a taxi company, which is an advantage if you’re not handy with smart phone apps.
Finally, no matter where you live, remember to have a designated driver. The most important part of choosing a DD is doing it before the night starts, and a quick conversation with your group can guarantee that your whole party arrives home safely. Plus, you don’t need an app or a service to do it.
Plan ahead this holiday season, and ring in the new year safely and soberly!