By Maddie Graham
December is in full swing, which means the holidays are here! This is a time for joy, giving and spending time with friends and family. However, December is also Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.
December is the most dangerous month when it comes to driving, and is the month where most impaired-related traffic fatalities occur. In fact, just in the week between Christmas and New Years (the time when students have nothing to do), alcohol-related car crashes rise by 34%! Also, over 70% of holiday drunk driving fatalities recorded having a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of over 0.15+ (the legal limit is 0.08!)
A survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) revealed that 13.2% of all drivers between the ages of 16-25 have admitted to driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Do not engage in these risky driving behaviors, please. You will be put on Santa’s naughty list!
The holidays are definitely the best times to relax and hang out with hometown friends. However, hold yourself and others to the same safety standards all year long. The legal drinking age in the United States is 21. If you find yourself at a holiday party with alcohol, offer to be the designated driver. Your friends and family will appreciate the kind gesture.
Celebrate passing your classes or surviving U.S. History with fro-yo or a trip to the mall. Don’t impair your Holidays with booze or drugs. #justsayin
Seriously, check out a few of NHTSA’s Holiday driving statistics and keep in mind “I Don’t Dare Drive Impaired.”
Madison Graham is a student at the University of Texas obtaining her master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning. She loves all things transportation, and her focuses include bicycle and pedestrian accessibility and safety.