‘Tis the season to be merry. It is also a great time to gather with friends, family members, and all those you love to share a meal, to toast to the end of a successful year, and to wish for a great one to come. However, when partaking in festivities, keep in mind that the New Year will not be enjoyed if you are in a hospital bed, behind bars, battling in the courtroom, or worse. All too often, holiday celebrations can end in tragedy because those seeking a night of fun do not take the time to properly prepare for end of the evening road safety.
Find a Designated Driver. It’s so simple. It has been advised for ages and yet people still fail to do so, risking their lives, instead, in order to have fun at parties, bars, restaurants, and clubs before driving themselves home. We’ve all seen the pictures of cars parked at odd angles, in yards, or on sidewalks because that’s where a drunk driver landed. Some will laugh, but those who understand the real dangers presented to St. Petersburg residents know that this is only a sign that a person has taken a serious risk. Don’t “run the gauntlet.” It’s simply not worth it. Ask a friend to act as a DD. Forego the drinks yourself. Find a place to spend the night that is within walking distance. Or, hire a driver. There are many solutions that can be called upon before the problem even arises.
Be Accommodating. If you are fortunate enough to live within walking distance of the event, or you are hosting the party, then spare a life and offer your spare space. A morning of inconvenience is well worth it when considering what the alternative could be. No one wants to mourn a friend or family member during the holiday season – or at any point during the year – especially while carrying the guilt that comes with knowing that it could have been prevented.
Recognizing Trouble. Even if you were outstandingly responsible during your own holiday celebration, understand that not everyone will do the same. Look out for signs that other drivers might be intoxicated and steer clear. Give other drivers ample space to maneuver and to react, and better ensure your own safety. If you suspect that someone else is driving drunk, make a call to the authorities. While that person might not appreciate being stopped, it could save lives.
Set a Trend, or Don’t. While it would be great if people were to become more vocal about the need to end drunk driving, we do understand that you might not want to broadcast your decision to avoid alcohol. We appreciate you making the decision not to drink and drive in Saint Petersburg, and remind you that, if you must, there are ways to fool others into believing that you are partaking in alcohol consumption, without actually doing so. Soda, juice, or even water over ice and served in a cocktail glass can reduce the peer pressure that you might otherwise feel.
Be safe and, remember, a personal injury attorney can help you collect compensation for your losses, but he or she cannot bring a person back to life.