In order to begin the New Year with those thoughts in mind; one of the most important safety tips to remember is to designate a driver or make your alternate plans in advance of consuming alcohol for the New Year's Eve holiday party that you may be attending.
Most adults have no idea how much alcohol it takes for them to reach the PA legal limit of .08% B.A.C. Or how much alcohol their drink of choice might even contain. (Check out www.lcb.state.pa.us - alcohol impairment chart) One drink may not really be one drink depending on the drink.
Mixed drinks often contain more than one type of alcohol and adults need to consider the type of alcoholic beverage they are consuming, not just the quantity.
Even at the amounts of alcohol considered to be truly one drink, drivers need to keep in mind that impairment begins with that first drink.
Be responsible; be a good friend, relative or loved one; if someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel and never let a minor consume alcohol in your home.
Driving while impaired is a crime that seriously risks your safety and the safety of those around you. Whether you have had one too many or are way over the limit, drunk driving is not worth causing a traffic crash, serious injury, or worse-death.
"It's a team effort in saving lives from impaired drivers, we can't just arrest our way out of this problem, if you are celebrating with a person and you know they have been drinking, stop them from driving and never get in a vehicle with an impaired driver", said Stephen Erni, Executive Director of the PA DUI Association located in Harrisburg.
The legal and financial costs of driving while impaired can be significant. Drunk-driving violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work.
Also, there's the added embarrassment, humiliation, and consequences of telling family, friends and employers of your arrest.
In 2012, there were 861 impaired driving related crashes and 31 people died from pre-Thanksgiving to post- New Year's Day according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's data.
(The PA DUI Association)