Gas is cheap now and it’s the holidays. Both of those factors mean a lot of people will be traveling on the highways this weekend.
And with tonight being New Year’s Eve, many of those drivers will be impaired. it is against the law in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to drive a vehicle while legally drunk. That means with a blood alcohol concentration BAC of .08 or higher.
If you’re under 21, the law is even tougher. You are prohibited from driving with any BAC in your system.
In 2013, 10,076 people died in crashes involving a drunk driver — one death every 52 minutes. That average goes up during the holidays, when 2-3 times more people die.
Extra police and patrols are also out in force to get drunk drivers off the road. Don’t put yourself and others at risk to be pulled over or even worse, cause an accident. There are ways for you to enjoy your midnight Champagne toast and get home safely and legally. Here are just a few:
- SaferRide app. This new app unveiled this month by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) allows users to call a taxi or a friend and by identifying their location so they can be picked up. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store.
- Uber app. With this popular app, you can find a driver to take your home, usually within a few minutes. Download the app and enter your information before you go out. Then when you are ready to go home, just call a car and with its location service, you can even see your driver as he or she approaches you.
- Check local services for free and inexpensive rides home on Sober Ride. This link contains a listing from NHTSA by state of sober and safe rides home. Put the number in your phone before you leave home.
- Have a designated driver. While this isn’t a great option for all groups of friends, there is often one person who doesn’t drink and is willing to get you and your friends safely home.
- Call a taxi. These may be difficult to come by at peak hours, but you may be able to schedule one earlier in the evening to pick you up.