Driving after a night spent drinking isn’t worth risking your life or the lives of others. If you've had too much to drink, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) urges you to find a ride home with a sober driver. From November 25 to December 31, MADD will be reinforcing this message with the Tie One On for Safety campaign.
About Tie One On for Safety
“Tie one on” is a slang term for drinking alcohol, but this campaign involves putting MADD red ribbons in vehicles to raise awareness of the need to always designate a non-drinking driver for your celebrations.
MADD has been organizing Tie One On for Safety since 1986. The timing of the event was selected to draw awareness to the fact that DUI arrests and alcohol-related traffic accidents spike between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.
Tie One On for Safety has been supported by a number of prominent figures throughout the years. In 1997, First Lady Hillary Clinton launched the annual campaign by tying a MADD ribbon to a drunk driving victim's car that was displayed in front of the White House. Grammy Award winning singer Naomi Judd served as the campaign's spokesperson in 1998, and actress Kelly Ripa joined the cause in 2001 after her pregnant sister received severe injuries in a crash caused by a drunk driver.
Drunk Driving Statistics
Multiple studies have shown that drunk driving remains a serious public health hazard, despite growing awareness of the danger. These statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlight those dangers:
- In 2014, drunk driving accidents accounted for 31 percent of all traffic related deaths in the United States.
- Among legally intoxicated drivers in fatal crashes, about 30 percent are between 21 and 24 years of age. Drivers ages 25 to 34 account for 29 percent of the fatalities, while drivers ages 35 to 44 account for 24 percent of fatalities.
- Drunk drivers were responsible for 19 percent of the traffic-related deaths of children under age 14, with over half of these children riding in the vehicle with the impaired driver at the time of the accident.
- The evidence suggests that drunk driving isn't just a one-time lapse in judgement. Drivers with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher at the time of fatal crashes were seven times more likely than sober drivers to have had a previous DUI conviction.
If you're planning to celebrate with family and friends this holiday season, keep in mind these important safety tips:
- Make sure you have plenty of food, so guests aren't drinking on an empty stomach. Avoid salty dishes, since this will make people feel thirsty and be likely to drink more.
- Always provide at least one non-alcoholic beverage for your non-drinking guests. Hot cocoa, apple cider, or "mocktails" are a possible choice for your party.
- Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) varies by gender, weight, and type of alcohol consumed, but it's a good idea to limit guests to no more than one drink an hour if you know they'll be driving home. Having a bartender instead of a self-serve beverage area makes this easier to do.
- About an hour before your party is scheduled to end, stop serving alcohol. Offer your guests a cup of coffee and a substantial snack. Coffee won't sober up someone who is intoxicated, but the food and passage of time will help.
- Keep numbers of local taxis handy, and know how to use ride sharing services such as Uber, so you can easily arrange transportation for anyone who has had too much to drink and doesn't have a safe ride home.
- If you have a guest bedroom, consider allowing intoxicated guests to spend the night. The minor inconvenience of extending your hosting duties may very well save someone's life.
- Never serve alcohol to someone under 21.
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