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New Years Safety Tips: Drinking and Driving don't mix

December 31, 2015
New Years Eve

During the holidays, especially on New Year’s Eve, the incidence of alcohol-related traffic fatalities increases.

A change in habit

“Many people who don’t normally drink alcohol will unfortunately find themselves taking a drink to be sociable on New Year’s Eve, and often one drink is followed by another and another,” said Dr. Ronald Gross, chief, Trauma, Acute Care Surgery and Surgical Critical Care at Baystate Medical Center.

“To protect yourself and the safety of others on the road, you should not be drinking alcohol at all if you plan on getting behind the wheel,” he added.

Dr. Gross said people shouldn’t feel pressured to have a New Year’s drink to be sociable, whether at a friend’s home or out partying on the town.

“Order a non-alcoholic beer or non-alcoholic sparkling champagne, a cola with a twist of lime, or even a healthy cranberry juice with a twist of lime,” he said.

Quick Tips

Dr. Gross offers the following tips to those partying on New Year’s Eve:

  • When you are drunk, your judgment is impaired and it is difficult to tell if the driver you are getting into the car with is sober. For that reason, you need to select a designated driver before going out, who will only drink soda or juice.
  • If you’re out drinking without a designated driver, make sure you have a ride home before you begin drinking or a taxi service telephone number in your pocket.
  • Remember, friends don’t let friends drive drunk.