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Celebrate Responsibly This Holiday Season December 28, 2009

Posted by southbendpolice in Community Announcements, Feature Stories.
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New Year’s Eve, along with the general Christmas holiday season with its many traditions, is a time of joy for us all. It’s a time of coming together with family and friends to remember what has been and anticipate what is yet to be. Festivities will abound and the spirit of the season will undoubtedly mean parties, family gatherings and special events.


Following these easy steps, a driver can enjoy a safe and festive holiday without jeopardizing their life and the lives of the others who may be on the road:

* Make a plan to arrive home safely before the festivities begin;
* If you plan to drink, designate a sober driver and give that person your keys;
* Spend the night where your activity is being held;
* If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
* If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911 or contact your local law enforcement agency;
* And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

If you are hosting a party, youhave a legal and moral responsibility-and liability- to ensure that your guests are not endangering themselves or others. Please take steps to monitor your guests, and arrange for designated driver or taxi service as alternate transportation if needed.

Most people think that if they have only ‘had a few’ then they will be okay to get behind the wheel. The fact is, however, that a few usually turns into a few more and then a few more. Studies have recently proven that it is a drunk driving fact that your risks of accident increase with each drink you take.

Certain medications (especially pain killers and anti-depressant drugs) will AMPLIFY the effects of a alcohol. Thus two beers or wines or mixed drinks can have the effect of doubling or tripling the ‘buzzed’ effect that the alcohol will have.

A person’s chances of being involved in a drunk driving accident increase dramatically after every two beers they drink. At the point when you have reached a six pack, your chances of being in a drunk driving accident are up to 44%.

With this and other drunk driving facts in mind, think before the you pick up the keys.


Drinking and driving is the kind of phenomenon that provides clues on how to avoid it through those that weren’t so lucky. In addition to drinking and driving facts, there are many drinking and driving myths that people should not believe. Here are some common facts and myths that we can help clear up to help you be safer on the roads:

FACT: You are more likely to be in a drinking and driving accident during the holidays. Drinking and driving accidents occur with more frequency during holidays due to ‘acceptable’ drinking at parties and family functions. If at all possible, avoid the roads during major holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the 4th of July.

MYTH: Coffee will help an impaired driver get home safely. Nothing could be further from the truth. While coffee can keep you awake from the caffeine, it in no way restores vision and other senses affected by alcohol.

FACT: Teenage drivers are at a higher risk to be involved in a drinking and driving accident. If you have teenage drivers, do whatever you can to ensure that they observe safe driving practices when they are on the road.

MYTH: Bigger people can drink more before driving because it won’t have the same affect on them. Wrong again. While having food in your system will absorb more alcohol, just being big will not have the same effect. An overweight person who has not eaten recently will get just as drunk as anyone else when they have a few drinks.

Pay close attention to the myths and truths when learning about drinking and driving. In between are the drinking and driving facts that everyone should know.

Don’t let your 2009 year end in an arrest—or worse. Did you know that a DUI conviction can cost around $10,000 for a first time offense? Don’t let a $20.00 cab ride be overlooked as being too expensive.

Celebrate the season responsibly by making smart decisions and planning ahead. Whether you’ve had way too many or just one too many, it’s not worth the risk. Officers throughout St. Joseph County and the Indiana State Police will again be out in force over New Years actively looking for intoxicated drivers.

St. Joseph County DUI Task Force officers are highly trained and specialized in DUI detection and testing of impaired subjects. Please take steps to ensure your New Years Eve celebration ends safely and without meeting these officers by accident!