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Excessive Holiday Drinking and Driving Don’t Mix

Feb 10, 2015

The Christmas holiday season is a time for celebration, cheerfulness, thinking of others, and spending time with family and good friends. For many, it is also a time to eat and drink. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a drink or two to toast loved ones or ring in the New Year. However, you must know your limit and drink responsibly. Excessive alcohol consumption could lead to regrettable sexual jaunts, embarrassing phone calls or text messages, and inappropriate behavior at family and office Christmas parties. This behavior can severely – and permanently – damage your reputation and any chance for advancement up the corporate ladder.

The biggest and most dangerous decision people make while drinking is getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and believing they are fine to drive. Impaired driving is one of the leading causes of injury and death during the holidays; it is also one that can be avoided – 100%.

There are many misconceptions associated with drinking and driving. Following are some of the most common myths:

1.Larger people can handle their alcohol better than smaller people. While it is true that an individual’s size plays a factor in how they are affected by alcohol, there are several aspects that must be considered. Everyone has a different metabolic rate. This means that the body processes food and alcohol at different rates for everyone. A person weighing 200 pounds may have a slower metabolism than someone weighing 150 pounds. Therefore, alcohol stays in the body for a longer period of time. After the first drink is consumed, the effects are already taking place.

2.If you drink beer instead of hard alcohol, then you will be fine to drive. To be blunt, alcohol is alcohol. True, whiskey may have a higher alcohol percentage than a bottle of beer, but that just means that an individual is more likely to consume more beers; thus, becoming even more impaired. Alcohol – no matter what kind, affects the body.

3.Coffee will sober you up. Coffee contains caffeine, which will make you feel as if you are more awake, but it will not counteract the effects of alcohol. Alcohol impairs your judgment and vision, slows reaction time, and lowers your inhibitions. The only factor that can eliminate these effects is time.

4.If you roll down the windows and breathe fresh air, turn up the radio, or splash cold water in your face, you will sober up faster. Again, only time can eliminate the effects of alcohol on the body. These tactics are mere distractions that will not change your level of impairment at all.

The truth is, when you drink and drive, you risk more than just losing your good reputation. You also risk losing your job, your livelihood; even your family. You will accumulate hundreds – perhaps thousands – in fines and court costs. You will have a criminal record, which will prevent you from traveling out of country. Worst of all, you could severely injure or kill yourself or others – including your family. This is not a present that anyone wants to wake up to on Christmas morning.

So, by all means, have a great time during the holiday, but be responsible as well. If you choose to consume alcohol, then also choose to appoint a designated driver or arrange to take a taxi home. If you notice that someone on the road is driving erratically and could possibly be impaired, do not hesitate to call the police or 911. This way, everyone can arrive home safe and enjoy the season.

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