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| Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn

With the holiday season comes many of the festivities that make this time of year so enjoyable for many of us. Over the next few weeks, there will be countless holiday office parties, gatherings with friends, and of course, time spent visiting with family. All of these festivities, however, mean increased traffic, and thus an increased risk of traffic accidents, particularly caused by drunk or impaired driving.

Holidays in general see statistically higher levels of traffic accidents linked to drunk driving, as the celebrations we attend also frequently involve alcohol consumption. Around Christmas and New Years, drunk driving can present particular risks in combination with winter driving conditions. The shorter days that lead to more night time driving also contribute to the increased risk of accidents.

So, as you’re enjoying your eggnog or holiday punch this year, keep in mind some important safety tips to make sure that you and your loved ones aren’t affected by drunk driving.

  • Before you head out to a holiday celebration, make sure you decide on a designated driver.
  • Monitor yourself—if you are too impaired to drive, call a taxi or get a ride from someone else.
  • Monitor others—take car keys away from anyone who is impaired and shouldn’t be driving.
  • If you’re hosting a party, offer alcohol-free beverages and help monitor your guests’ alcohol consumption.
  • When you’re out on the road, be alert to any cars that seem to be driving erratically.
  • Maintain a larger than normal distance between your car and the erratic car.
  • Follow all traffic laws and use your seatbelts
  • Report drunk drivers to local authorities.

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