Orlando, Fla. — The stats are mind blowing: Drunk drivers are responsible for 40% of highway deaths that occur during the holiday season. The spikes in highway travel and drunk driving during this season make for a deadly combination:
• In 2016, 43.5 million Americans took a road tip over the Thanksgiving holiday and a record-high 103 million people hit the roads between Christmas and New Year’s
• 16% of adults say they drink more than usual during the holidays
• 51% of high-risk drunk drivers report feeling they drank more between Thanksgiving and New Year’s compared to the rest of the year.
If you are the host of a Holiday Party, these are 6 tips for your guests to enjoy the celebration and go back home safely :
1. Make sure to provide alcohol-free drinks and beverages for designated drivers or those who don’t wish to consume alcohol. “Mocktails” are an excellent option to offer celebration-worthy non-alcohol option.
2. Serve food - it encourages people to drink more moderately and slows down the effects of alcohol. It is very easy to pair cheese with wine your guests will love it and the protein in cheese will hold them sober for a longer time.
Guests are more likely to become inebriated—and to leave—if they are drinking on an empty stomach.
3. Allow them to stay in your place when they pose a threat to other drivers or pedestrians. The only way to be sure no-one will be harmed is keeping them from driving at all. Despite the inconvenience of having unexpected guest sleeping over in your place, what matters most is to keep them off the roads to ensure a great holiday season for everyone!
4. Taxis, Uber and Lyft are your best friends! Keep their phone numbers, Apps or any contact method on-hand in case you need to send someone home safely.
5. Don’t play good cop bad cop, hire a bartender with experience keeping an eye on everyone’s alcohol consumption and cut off people who have reached their limit.
6. Do intervene, yes you are responsible! - Ten states – and not by coincidence ten of the more “plaintiff-friendly” states – have laws which require that a person at least notify law enforcement and seek aid from others for strangers in peril. Those states include California, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. The creation of a duty to prevent somebody from driving drunk will likely be established in a case in which the person who fails to act was somehow complicit in the intoxication of the drunk driver.
There are dire consequences!
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) provides oversight, education, and monitoring for licensed Driving Under the Influence (DUI) programs in Florida, contracted ignition interlock device (IID) providers, and drivers with illegal substance-related driving infractions.
Florida Penalties for DUI First Conviction
• Fine - $250 to $500
• Community Service - 50 Hours
• Probation - Not more than 1 Year
• Imprisonment - Not more than 6 Months
• Imprisonment with BAL of .08 or higher with a minor in the vehicle, not more than 9 months
• License Revocation - Minimum of 180 days
• DUI School - 12 Hours
Addtional DUI Convictions
The penalties listed above are for a first DUI conviction. With each additional DUI conviction the penalties in Florida are more severe. Complete details on Florida DUI penalties can be found in the Florida drivers manual.
Enjoy this Holiday Season driving safely for your own good and to protect those you love!