Did you know that in December an average of 25 people a day die in impaired driving accidents?

Holidays are about celebrating the season with loved ones. However, the festivities also increase the chances that a driver will get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Most holidays result in lost lives due to impaired drivers on the roadways. These numbers are especially high during the week between Christmas and New Year, when about 300 people are involved in drunk driving fatalities annually. This is why December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month. It’s a critical time to raise awareness about the dangers of operating a vehicle under the influence, especially among our young people. (Those between the ages of 21 and 34 are most likely to die as a result of impaired driving.)

Drinking alcohol (or doing drugs) impairs a person’s thinking, reasoning, and muscle coordination, all of which are abilities required to properly operate a vehicle. Even one glass of alcohol before operating a vehicle can put you and others in danger of being involved in a collision. The legal BAC limit to drive is .08 and at this level, people experience reduced concentration, short-term memory loss, lack of speed control and impaired perception. As your BAC gets higher, the consequences become more serious, leading to severe impairment in vehicle control and visual and auditory information processing.

So, please focus on celebrating responsibly in the weeks ahead by not operating a vehicle under the influence. Your life and the lives of others depend on your choices. Together, we can reduce the toll of drunk driving this holiday season by having a designated driver or planning for a ride home before consuming alcohol or drugs.