their highest between Thanksgiving and the end of New Year ’ s weekend .
The U . S . National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism ( NIAAA ) reports that 40 % of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year ’ s involve drunk drivers — a 12 % increase over the rest of December .
A driver is considered legally impaired when their BAC ( blood alcohol concentration ) is . 08 or more grams per deciliter of blood . To reach the legal level of intoxication , it takes four drinks for a 180-pound man but only two for a 120-pound woman .
The good news is that drunk driving numbers have steadily decreased over the last four decades , thanks to the awareness efforts from the NHTSA and activists groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving . Here ’ s what you can do to keep the trends headed in the right direction :
• Wear your seatbelt . It ’ s the best defense against impaired drivers .
• Talk to your kids . Education starts at home , and parents have the best opportunity to making new drivers understand the full implications of drunk driving and the responsibility they have behind the wheel .
• Plan ahead . Before you head out for the festivities , designate a driver to provide the ride home .
• If you do find yourself drunk without a ride , call a taxi or use a rideshare app like Uber or Lyft . Sleep it off if you ’ re in a safe space .
• If someone you know is drinking and wants to drive , take their keys and help them arrange for a sober ride .
• If you ’ re hosting , make sure all guests leave with a sober driver .
• If you see an impaired driver , contact law enforcement .
Your actions could help save someone ’ s life , including your own .
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46 • SEKY - Life in Southeast Kentucky December 2021