Be Responsible: Keep safety in mind when celebrating New Year

Going out for a big New Year’s Eve celebration this evening? Thinking of having a drink or two more than you would normally drink? That’s fine. Plenty of people will be celebrating in similar fashion.

What are your plans for getting home safely? If you are a host, what are your plans for making sure your guests stay safe?

The hours between 6 p.m. Dec. 31 and 6 a.m. Jan. 1 have an average of 71 percent more alcohol-related crashes than a typical week night. An average of 140 deaths are the result of those crashes each year.

And, by the way, Jan. 1 also has the highest percentage of alcohol-related deaths of the year. Note that does not say vehicle deaths. Too much alcohol can be fatal even if one never gets into a car.

So, this morning is your chance to do a little planning: choose a designated driver (or volunteer to be a designated driver), find the number for a cab company, have a ride-share app queued up on your phone.

Or, just maybe, plan not to drink so much …

And hosts, make sure there is room in your home for a few people to crash THERE, rather than on the road. Keep an eye on guests who don’t need another drink, or should have their keys hidden from them. Do whatever it takes and don’t worry about whether they like the idea at the time.

Parents of those under 21 who are “headed to a friend’s house” for the evening, ask an irritating number of questions, and check on them later.

Start the new year on the right foot, rather than steeped in regret.

Have fun, but be smart and responsible this evening, ladies and gentlemen.


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