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Be the Life of the Party

Be the Life of the Party

The holidays are in full swing, and that includes New Year’s Eve, a time of observing the Times Square ball drop and welcoming the new year with food, party favors, and alcohol. However, with these celebrations also comes accidents.

Referring to The Drive’s article on Floridian crashes, law enforcement agencies in Florida counted more than 10,000 crashes throughout the five-day Thanksgiving period, which began at 6PM EST Wednesday and ended at 5:59AM EST Monday. Only two percent of those accidents were not wearing seatbelts. However, 30 percent of those who died in accidents did not wear seatbelts.

While Thanksgiving is the deadliest time of year for Floridians, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day driving can be fatal too. According to Tampa Bay Times, New Year’s Day is one of the most dangerous days for drivers in Florida. Between 2014 and 2016, a total of 34 fatal crashes occurred on New Year’s Day, averaging to 11 people died per year. In fact, 30 percent of the day’s fatal crashes occur between midnight and 3AM, while 44 percent of crashes occurred on New Year’s Eve between 6PM and 9PM.

To put it simply, drinking and driving do not mix. New Year’s Eve may be an incredibly deadly holiday, but if you follow these tips to avoid driving (or help someone avoid driving) while under the influence, then you’ll avoid landing in the police department on the wrong side of law enforcement or worse.

Serve Nonalcoholic Drinks or Bring Your Own

The best way to not drink and drive is to avoid driving, but you don’t have to touch the liquor either. If you’re hosting the party, try to limit access to alcohol. If that is not possible, fix some alcoholic alternatives, like fruit punch, soda, and sparkling juice. If you’re not the host, ask to have these alternatives available or bring your own non-alcoholic drink.


Confiscate the Keys!

When guests arrive, request to take the driver’s key or have the guests place the keys into a locked safe or room. That way they’ll have to come to you for approval before getting behind the wheel. It would also be a good idea to notify the guests of this plan ahead of time. If you’re not hosting the party, you can always give the party host your keys.

Secure a Designated Driver


Be sure to have a designated driver prepared for guests or yourself. Otherwise, ask the partygoers if they have a place to stay or a ride, whether it be a friend, family member, or a ride-share service. Explain to them that you are concerned for their safety so that they would be more willing to tell you of their plans.

Give them a Place to Stay Overnight


Perhaps these guests don’t have a place or ride secured. If they don’t, provide them with your couch, an airbed, or another comfortable location to sleep at. If you’re not the host, you can ask the host if you can crash at their place.

If You Need to Drink, Drink Below the Legal Limit

Everyone has different tolerance levels, but you’ll need a full hour to metabolize and digest any liquor. You should only drink either 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits within an hour. No more than that, otherwise avoid getting behind the wheel.

Be Careful on New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is full of fun and festivities as you wait for the ball to drop, but you have to keep in mind that drinking and driving is very common on New Year’s Eve.

While you can take steps to protect yourself and others by utilizing a ride-share service, locking away keys, and limiting alcohol, the best thing you can do is avoid driving that night, period. After all, there are many drivers on the road who may be under the influence, risking not only their lives but yours.