As the holidays approach, there are many things to celebrate! Friends and family coming together to give thanks, children’s eyes beaming bright while opening presents. Losing the life of a loved one from buzzed driving is not one of them.

The pre-holidays are known for being the deadliest season when it comes to buzzed driving. A common misconception is that being slightly impaired is harmless. The truth is that the effects of alcohol on cognitive abilities are undeniable – impairing judgment, coordination, and reaction times. Every year, countless accidents occur due to the deadly combination of alcohol and driving. NHTSA data shows that 13,384 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2021.

Your life and others who share the road are put at risk any time you get behind the wheel after drinking. To combat this issue, awareness and having a plan are crucial. Before you head out for a social gathering where alcohol will be consumed, be sure to designate a sober driver or ridesharing. Always wear your seat belt when riding in a vehicle and encourage passengers to do the same. If you believe you see a drunk driver, when safe to do so, call 9-1-1.

Ultimately, the choice not to drink and drive is a collective responsibility. By understanding the gravity of this decision and choosing safer alternatives, we can work toward a future where the roads are safer for everyone.