The holiday season is a time for parties, but there is no bigger party than on New Year’s Eve. Since everyone is out celebrating late into the night, there is usually a lot of drinking and eating happening. If you are planning on being at one of these parties, here are five great tips to help you prepare for the drive home.
1. Ask a friend for a ride
Part of being mature enough to drink is knowing when you have had enough. If you have been drinking, don’t get behind the wheel of a car. If you plan on drinking, discuss with your friends who will be the designated driver. A drunk driver has slower reflexes, bad reaction times, and poor judgment, meaning it isn’t safe.
If you didn’t plan on having a designated driver, ask a friend at the party or call a friend who hasn’t been drinking for a ride home.
2. Call a ride service
If you feel like calling family or asking a friend for a ride home is embarrassing, you can always use a ride service. Many organizations have hotlines available on New Year’s Eve for drunk people to call so that they can get a ride home instead of getting in the driver’s seat of a car. Some will even cover the cost for a taxi.
With so many ride-share apps available and other driving services, there really is no excuse to not call for a ride home.
If you live relatively close to the party you are attending, consider walking instead of driving. Covering the distance on foot is no big deal if it is a block or two away and that way you don’t have to worry about driving while intoxicated. You can have more drinks and know that you won’t be driving irresponsibly.
Depending on where you live, you do need to plan and check for bad weather, making sure that you won’t be miserable in the cold.
3. Leave early or spend the night
Since most parties will end after midnight, plan to leave a little earlier. If you want to see the ball drop in Times Square, leave right after it is done. This will help you not only avoid traffic, but also drunk drivers. Since New Year’s Eve is well known for a higher number of drunk drivers on the road, with 48 percent of highway deaths on this night being alcohol-related, it is important you keep yourself safe.
If you are having the party at a close friend’s house, consider asking ahead of time if you can spend the night. It allows you to stay longer while still avoiding the traffic and drunk drivers on the road.
4. Don’t drink
If you are choosing to not drink or are chosen as the designated driver for a group, your experience is going to be a little different. Make sure that you ask what is in each drink and don’t drink even a small amount of alcohol.
Enjoy the food and snacks that are provided and play some games. Socialize with others at the party. It is possible to still have fun without alcohol.
Since around 10,000 people die each year from drunk driving accidents, it is important to make sure you are not part of the problem. Don’t ever drive drunk and don’t allow anyone else to do it either. If you see someone trying to get behind the wheel of a car, speak up. You could save a life.