Drunk-driving statistics show that one in three people will be involved in an alcohol-related car accident in their lifetime. During the holiday season, and more specifically on New Year's Eve, the chances of you becoming involved in a drunk-driving accident increase significantly.
The Helena West Helena Police Department encourages all those who celebrate the New Year with alcohol to please remember to take the proper precautions to ensure that your life and the lives of others do not ended tragically in a alcohol-related accident.
This New Year's Eve, make sure to take these precautions on the roadways:
• Decide on a designated driver at the beginning of the night. Don't wait until the end of the night and let “the most sober” person in your group get behind the wheel. A couple drinks are still enough to impair your reaction time and put yourself and others at risk on the road.
• Never get behind the wheel of a car when you've been drinking alcohol – even after just one drink. Take advantage of alternative means of transportation.
• If you are hosting a New Year's Eve party, plan ahead to accommodate your guests in case they need to spend the night and offer non-alcohol options as well. Also, provide food so that your guests are not drinking alcohol on an empty stomach.
• Never ride as a passenger in a car driven by someone who has been drinking alcohol – even after just one drink.
• Do not hesitate to take the keys from friends or family members who may be impaired.
• Call a taxi for a friend in need.
• Be a responsible host in reminding guests to stay safe and always offer alcohol-free beverages.
• If you encounter an impaired driver on the road, keep a safe distance and ask a passenger to call 911 (or pull over to a safe location to make the call yourself).
Remember, while having a burger with your beer is a good idea, a full stomach is not an effective defense against impaired driving. And no amount of coffee, cold showers or fresh air will sober you up. The only cure is time. In fact, it takes about six hours for your body to eliminate all the alcohol from your body if you have a blood alcohol concentration of .08, the legal limit.
“As we bring in the New Year it is my job to enforce the law and as citizens of the community it is your responsibility to follow the law. If you drink please don't drive. Help ensure that everyone has a safe and happy holiday, for many more years to come,” commented Helena-West Helena Assistant Police Chief Ronald Scott.
• Over 40 percent of fatal automobile accidents are alcohol-related
Page 2 of 2 - • Approximately 30 percent of Americans will be in an accident involving alcohol
• According to estimates, someone is injured in an alcohol-related accident every two minutes
• Accidents involving alcohol are more likely to occur at night… about five times more likely
• About two-thirds of DUI convictions are for first-time offenders
• More than one-third of all fatal traffic accidents involve at least one person with a blood alcohol content of over 0.08 percent.