December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month.
The holiday season is in full swing. Holiday parties are scheduled and Christmas day and New Year’s Eve parties are looming.
Enjoy the season and its opportunities to rejoice with family and friends but, please do so responsibly.
The concern is driving under the influence of any drug that affects the brain could impair one’s motor skills, reaction time and judgment. Impaired driving is a public health concern because it puts not only you at risk, but also your passengers and others who share the road.
If you plan to attend a party or other event where alcohol will be served, reserve the option not to drink alcoholic beverages.
If you intend to drink:
- Designate a nondrinking driver and give that person the car keys before the event begins.
- If you are taking medication, even over-the-counter drugs, check with a pharmacist in advance of the event to determine any affect mixing the medication with alcoholic beverages may have.
- Know your limit and stay within it. Don’t participate in “chugging” or other drinking games that promote consuming extreme levels of alcohol.
- Skip a drink now and then. Having a nonalcoholic drink between alcoholic ones will help keep your blood alcohol content level down.
- Be honest with yourself. If you realize you’re impaired, make arrangements with the host to stay until you’re sober or call a friend or a taxi for a ride.
- Take the keys as individuals arrive to the event, and return them only when you’re sure the individual isn’t impaired.
- Offer alcohol-free beverages and plenty of food. High-protein food, such as meat, cheese and peanuts, will help slow the absorption of alcohol into a person’s body.
- Ensure guests leaving are either sober or are leaving with a sober driver.
- If children under the age of 21 are present, ensure they are not given access to the alcoholic beverages.
If you are hosting a party:
Whether you’re attending or hosting an event, be observant, and speak up, if necessary.
The holidays will be healthier if we not only take care of ourselves, but look out for others, as well.
While you’re doing your part to ensure our roads are safe this month, law enforcement personnel will be doing the same. Impaired drivers don’t only risk life and injury; they also take a chance of being arrested.
During the holiday season, in particular, police officers and sobriety checkpoints are stepped up. A report created jointly by the University of Georgia and the University of Missouri show the perceived risk of arrest is one of the biggest deterrents to individuals who consider driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drunk and drugged driving is a very serious subject.
Since 1981, every president of the United States has demonstrated his commitment to preventing impaired driving by proclaiming December to be 3D Prevention Month. I ask that you make that same commitment for the safety of yourself and others.