For many families, alcohol and holiday celebrations go hand in hand. Maybe you always share your dad’s favorite brand of beer with your siblings while watching a football game on Thanksgiving. Perhaps your grandfather is notorious for making the most dangerous eggnog in the county, and everyone old enough to drink has to finish a cup after dinner.
Your family’s holiday celebrations that involve alcohol can be a source of many fond memories. However, they could also lead to a holiday tragedy if you leave a celebration and end up getting into a crash. Drunk driving crashes surge during the holiday season every year, and law enforcement efforts to catch drunk drivers also increase near the holidays. You don’t want to get arrested and charged with an impaired driving offense on your way home from a family party.
How can you minimize the risk of a poor outcome if you drink while celebrating the holidays with your family?
Time your consumption appropriately
When you consume the alcohol and when you leave the party can make all the difference for your physical and legal safety. Toasting with a double-size champagne flute at midnight and then loading your spouse into the car five minutes later could be a big mistake. Enjoying an eggnog after dinner and then lingering for two hours could be sufficient to allow your body to metabolize the alcohol in your beverage.
Depending on your health, weight, sex and other factors, you can expect to metabolize roughly one drink’s worth of alcohol per hour. Planning your consumption and travel with that information in mind could give you safer.
Let someone else start the drive
If you have more than an hour to drive to get back home after a holiday celebration, it could be a smart move to ask a family member who has not enjoyed the same beverages you did to drive at first. Then, you can take over when your body has had sufficient time to process your drinks. Alternating driving can be a smart choice, as it also protects against fatigue affecting a driver’s performance, which can be as dangerous as alcohol.
Making smart choices about celebrations involving alcohol could help you avoid causing a motor vehicle collision or getting arrested for impaired driving.