Honor National Drunk Driving Prevention Month ~ Celebrate the Holidays Responsibly

With DUI’s on the rise during this festive time of year, it is a great time to remember how important it is to celebrate responsibly. In fact, the merrymaking month of December has been designated as the National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention month because it is a time when drunk driving crashes are most prevalent. Make your holiday parties be safe celebrations by following these tips provided by Mothers Against Drunk Driving:

~ Designate a sober driver before celebrations begin.
~ Never serve those under the age of 21 alcohol.

~ Plan safe parties, by providing non-alcoholic drink options to guests and by
not serving alcohol the last hour of the gathering.

~ Be prepared to get everyone home safe in case your plans or individual circumstances change.

According to MADD, in 2010, 10,228 people died in drunk driving crashes. Sadly, one every 52 minutes – and 345,000 were injured in drunk driving crashes. MADD hopes to raise awareness about the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs this month and all throughout the year. They want you to know that every day in America, another 28 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes.

The good news is the number of drunk driving deaths has been cut in half in the United States since MADD was founded in 1980. {National Highway Traffic Safety Administration FARS data, 2011}
During this joyous season of giving, MADD encourages you to join their “Give the Gift of a Designated Driver” campaign. They are asking people to give the gift of a safe, sober ride home by volunteering to be the designated driver for your friends and family, to and from a Holiday festivity.

It is also a good idea to drive extra cautiously during this busy month ~ there are a lot of drivers out there rushing around trying to finish their holiday shopping. Some drivers will be so preoccupied with their lists that they will not be paying attention to their driving! Unfortunately, you may even come across a driver who appears to have had a few. If you do happen to see a drunk driver on the road, please don’t hesitate to report it. San Diego Law Enforcement recommends reporting DUIs (drivers under the influence) by calling 911.

As an experienced DUI attorney, I can tell you the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol can be severe ~ even if it is your first arrest and charge for a DUI offense. It’s important that you keep in mind, that DUIs, and Drunk Driving crashes are on the rise during this merry time. Offer a sober, safe ride to anyone who has had a little too much holiday merriment ~ this thoughtful gift can save a life! And please, if you find that you, yourself, have had more holiday drinks than you planned, do not drive! Call a friend, a loved one, a taxi, or call me!

Wishing you a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

Sean F. Leslie, Attorney at Law
Source: “DECEMBER IS NATIONAL DRUNK AND DRUGGED DRIVING PREVENTION MONTH” ~ MADD, December 2012