Highway Patrol authorities across the country are setting up roadway checks and adding extra troopers on highways and roadways to keep drunk driving accidents to a minimum on New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately, authorities have good reason to be concerned. In most areas of the country, the rate of car accidents and truck accidents increases at this time of year.
Many people attend New Year’s Eve festivities where alcohol is served and some revellers decide to drive while intoxicated. A shortage of cabs, night driving after New Year’s Eve parties, and more drivers on the road than usual compound the problem. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is organizing a national campaign. The campaign, “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest” will continue until Jan. 3.The campaign will see participating police authorities organize checkpoints for sobriety, seat belt use, and traffic infractions on New Year’s Eve. The campaign will also raise awareness and inform drivers about alternatives to drunk driving.
In every state, it is illegal to drive with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08 or higher. There are many campaigns in place to help drivers avoid driving under the influence. Some cities organize free public transportation for New Year’s Eve. Some bars offer free breathalyser tests and some advocacy groups even hand out free breathalyser test key chains, which allow drivers to test sobriety before getting in a car. Despite all these measures, unfortunately, some people continue to drink and drive.
As a result, many authorities and cities are getting tough on drunk drivers. In some areas, drivers caught at checkpoints with an illegal blood alcohol level will face a minimum five hours in jail, possible addition charges, fines, and other penalties.
If you are attending New Year’s Eve festivities, designate a driver, make plans to stay overnight or find an alternative form of transportation. It is a good idea to have at least three possible ways of getting home, just in case one travel option does not work well after New Year’s. Having more options ensures that you are not tempted to get behind the wheel after drinking.