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How to avoid drunk driving charges during the holidays

A little eggnog here and a bit of Bailey's Irish Creme there -- and the next thing you know, you're tipsy. This can happen even though you hadn't planned on drinking anything at all when you started out for a holiday party.

What do you do next?

What you don't do is get behind the wheel until you're 100 percent certain that you're sober again -- even if that means you stay around longer than you intended.

Alcohol plays a tragic role in 40 percent of accidental deaths on the nation's highways during the time from Christmas to New Year's. You certainly don't want to contribute to that statistic. Nor do you want to be caught behind the wheel while inebriated.

If you're like the majority of people, you probably don't do a lot of regular drinking -- so just a little alcohol can affect you in a much bigger way than you expected. If that's what happens, here are some safety plans you can use so that you don't have to get behind the wheel while less-than-sober:

  • Tell your host that you drank a little too much and ask for a quiet place to lie down and sleep it off. (Remember that coffee doesn't help when you're drunk -- all it does is make you more alert, not sober you up.)
  • Ask someone at the party to drive you home. If you're lucky, two people will pitch in and one can drive you home in your car while the other follows and takes the driver back to the party. If not, worry about picking your car up tomorrow.
  • Call for a ride. There are taxis, plus services like Uber and Lyft almost everywhere. If you don't know anyone who can come pick you up, call a professional that can get you home safely.

Given the serious consequences of a drunk driving charge, keep these plans in mind so that you can have a truly happy holiday season!

Source: Elite Driving School, "The sober facts of holiday drinking and driving," accessed Dec. 01, 2017

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