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Who doesn’t love a great party? With the holiday season approaching, you’re likely to spend lots of time celebrating with family, friends, and coworkers. Holiday parties are a great time to unwind and reflect on the past year while enjoying good food, great company, and yes, alcohol is often involved. Though relaxing with a few drinks can be fun, it can also be extremely dangerous to you and those around you.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, in the past year in Colorado, driving under the influence led to 151 fatalities and 25,562 DUI arrests, costing taxpayers $752 million. While those are scary statistics, even scarier still is the unknown. The much higher number of impaired drivers who are never caught. While they may not cause an accident, they still put themselves and everyone else on the road at risk when they get behind the wheel.

Although drunk driving is on the decline, the holidays are a dangerous time to be on the road. With parties happening nearly every night, it’s all too easy for an otherwise responsible driver to get behind the wheel after having just a bit too much to drink – “just this once.” So rather than avoiding the roads entirely, what can you do to protect you and those close to you?

If You’re Hosting, Help Your Guests Drink Responsibly

Hosting a holiday party can be a big responsibility – planning the menu, creating the guest list, making sure the music is just right. However, perhaps the most important task is making sure everybody gets home safe.

You can do so by:
  • Offer a selection of non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Encourage your guests to alternate alcoholic drinks with water.
  • Make sure you have a lot of fat-rich foods available (meat, nuts, and similar foods help slow the alcohol’s absorption rate.)
  • Keep an eye on your guests. If someone becomes too intoxicated, it’s your responsibility to not let them drive. Even if they tell you that they’re fine, make sure they have safe transportation.
  • If you’ve had too much to drink, you can’t take good care of your guests – so make sure you’re drinking responsibly.
If You’re Out, Make Sure You Drink Responsibly

While the holidays are a time to relax and enjoy yourself, the best way to ensure a good time is to wake up safe the next morning. Here are a few tips to make that a certainty:

  • Have a plan for getting home before you go out. If you’ll be driving, make sure to monitor your drinking.
  • Know your limits. Even if you’re not planning to drive, it’s still a good idea to pace yourself and drink a glass of water in between drinks.
  • You’re pretty convincing when you’re drunk – don’t listen to yourself if you think you’ll be fine behind the wheel. It’s not worth the potential consequences.
  • With the prevalence of ride-share and public transportation, there’s really no excuse to drive after you’ve been drinking. Stay safe and make sure you have a happy holiday.

While you can control your actions, and to a certain extent those of your guests, you are still vulnerable to those who don’t follow the law. Know that people are more likely to drive under the influence at night, so keep an eye out if you’re on the road after the sun’s down. If you encounter someone on the road who seems like they could be under the influence, don’t hesitate to contact law enforcement. Even if you avoid an accident, they could still harm someone else down the road.

If you’re in an accident with a drunk driver, the Denver auto accident lawyers at Ramos Law are here to help. Contact us here for your free case evaluation. From all of us at Ramos Law, we hope you have a safe and happy holiday season.