Drunk driving crashes spike around the holidays. Between 2013 and 2017, 4,110 people died in December crashes involving drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, according to the NHTSA.  New Year’s Eve, when people stay up late to ring in the new year with champagne, can be especially hazardous.

Stay safe with these strategies.

  1. Plan for a sober ride home. Before you head out, think about how you’re going to get back. If you’re planning to drink, leave your car at home and go by bus, taxi, Uber or Lyft. If you’re celebrating with a group of friends, decide who’s willing to volunteer as the designated driver.
  2. Watch out for each other. Be a good friend. If your friends are about to drive drunk, speak up. Don’t get in the car with a driver who’s drunk.
  3. Have a backup plan. Maybe you’re not planning to drink, but you get caught up in the revelry and have a cocktail – then another, then another. Or maybe it’s your designated driver who gives into temptation. Have a backup plan ready to go – like money for a ride home or the bus route that will take you home.
  4. Don’t drive drunk. No excuses. Whatever happens, if you’re drunk, don’t drive. Find another way home, or another place to sleep.
  5. Don’t drive tipsy. It’s hard to estimate how intoxicated you really are, and even a BAC below .08, the legal driving limit, can impair your ability to drive safely.
  6. Don’t drive high. Think you don’t have to worry about DUIs because you prefer pot? Nope. You can get a DUI for marijuana, too, as well as for other drugs and medications.
  7. Use local programs designed to help you. Multiple programs exist to help everyone get home safely. See which ones work for you, and make sure you know how to use them. Write down any numbers and download any apps before you go out.
  • The DDVIP App have a map showing participating bars in California, where designated drivers can get special offers and discounts. It also lists different ways to get a sober ride home. The app is free, so there’s no reason not to download it.
  • The AAA Holiday Safe Ride Program is providing rides in many California cities.
  • The Drink and Alive Free Cab Program, from GJEL Accident Attorneys, is providing reimbursement for qualifying rides home in the Bay Area, San Jose, Oakland, the Tri-Valley metro area and Sacramento.

All of us at Pronto Insurance wish you a safe and joyous New Year!