New Year’s Eve is one of the most dangerous nights of the year. Despite the dangers, legal consequences, and high costs associated with drinking and driving, millions of people get behind the wheel while intoxicated every year. While you may not be able to control the actions of someone else, you can take steps to minimize your risk of causing injury or being victimized yourself. Continue reading to learn four ways you can lower your drunk driving risks this New Year’s Eve.
Find a Designated Driver
There are many slogans that have been used over the years: “Friends don’t let friend’s drink and drive”; “Buzzed driving is drunk driving.” You already know it’s not worth getting behind the wheel after you’ve had a drink, but getting home safely will take some planning. To begin with, you can find a friend who is willing to serve as your designated driver, so long as it is someone you can rely on to stay sober throughout the night. Alternatively, you can keep the number of a local cab service on hand. Depending on where you are at on New Year’s Eve, you may also be able to contact a ride-sharing service such as Uber or Lyft.
Talk to Your Insurance Agent
Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Even if you drive sober or only ride with other drivers who have not been drinking, there is no way to control the actions of others on the road. Because of this, you might want to talk with your independent agent about any limitations you might have on your policy. There are affordable car insurance policies available that will cover damage or loss of your vehicle caused by collision or non-collision events, such as theft, as well as provide you with liability protection.
Avoid Driving Late
New Year’s Eve is one night when otherwise responsible drivers may be more inclined to make bad decisions. As the night wears on, more and more intoxicated drivers will begin to fill the roads, many assuming they can safely drive before they are sober enough to do so. Unless you are volunteering to be a designated driver, it may be a good idea to avoid being on the road altogether. Not only are you at higher risk of be hit by a drunk driver, but you may also be subject to police checkpoints or traffic stops, as law enforcement attempts to catch people driving under the influence.
Be a Responsible Host
Hosting, rather than attending a party may seem like the smarter choice on New Year’s Eve, but you still face risks related to drunk driving. Namely, third-parties who are injured by intoxicated party-goers might try to hold you liable for their losses or injuries. That means that you could be sued if a drunk guest causes an accident after leaving your home. Lower your risk by offering plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages in addition to alcohol. You can also keep the number of a cab company handy throughout the evening, or be prepared to let guests sleep over. Of course, you should also talk to your insurance agent about the limitations of the social host liability on your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.