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Drivers: Make This New Years Eve a Sober One

Dec 26, 2012 - Birmingham by

New Years Eve is a time for celebrating and ringing in the New Year. Unfortunately, it is also a time when many people go out and have more drinks than they should and end up driving home. Drinking and driving over the holiday season is a major problem throughout Alabama and there are tragic cases every year where someone goes out on New Years Eve and doesn’t make it home.

Our injury attorneys in Birmingham urge every driver to make a commitment not to drink and drive this New Years holiday. We also urge bars and restaurants to take steps to provide solutions to patrons that will prevent them from drinking and driving. And we urge party-goers to keep an eye on their friends to make sure that no one gets in a car after having too many drinks. 1251469_wine

The New Years Drinking and Driving Dangers
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, there were 259 deaths in Alabama related to drunk driving in 2011. While these deaths occurred throughout the year, the holiday season is an especially common time for drunk driving crashes. In fact, crashes are so likely around the holiday season that the Alabama Law Enforcement Traffic and Safety Division is participating in the 2012 Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is part of a national effort spearheaded by the Governors Highway Traffic Safety Association. It includes added enforcement and DUI checkpoints, public service campaigns and the use of social media to increase awareness of drunk driving dangers.

Taking Responsibility to Avoid Drunk Driving
Law enforcement is doing what they can by setting up checkpoints, but it is up to each individual driver to make a commitment not to drink and drive on New Years. When you are heading out to do your celebrating:

  • Determine who is going to be a designated driver before going out. Make sure the designated driver doesn’t get caught up in the celebrating and decide to have just a few drinks.
  • Have cab money and the telephone number of a cab company with you in case there is a problem with your ride.
  • Watch out for friends and if you see someone thinking about drinking and driving, step in.
  • Let your teenage children know that you’ll pick them up from a party or social event so they don’t get into a car with someone who has been drinking.

By following these tips, individuals should be able to help avoid drunk-driving tragedies. Stores, restaurants and bars also need to be aware that Alabama’s dram shop laws say that they can be held responsible for DUI accidents caused by intoxicated patrons if they served them alcohol when they were already intoxicated or if they otherwise violated Alabama laws in serving them. Those injured in a DUI accident, therefore, may sue not just the driver but also the bar or restaurant that was irresponsible in serving too much alcohol to a drunk driver on New Years Eve.

Additional Resources

Tuscaloosa Injury Attorneys: Use Caution to Reduce Risk of Year-end Tragedies, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, November 28, 2012

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