NORMAN — As Americans prepare for holiday celebrations, AAA reminds drivers and passengers alike of the dangers on the roads this New Year’s Day, which consistently ranks as the year’s deadliest day for alcohol-related fatalities. To strengthen efforts to protect the public against drunk drivers and reduce alcohol-related traffic deaths, AAA is announcing its support of ignition interlock devices for all who are convicted DUI offenders, and are offering important safety advice to partygoers.
According to the 2012 Traffic Safety Culture Index conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than nine in 10 drivers consider it a serious threat to their personal safety when others drink and drive, and nearly all (97 percent) surveyed find it unacceptable for a driver to get behind the wheel when they have had too much to drink.
AAA Oklahoma spokesman, Danial Karnes says “Preventing drinking and driving is a shared responsibility to save lives. New Year’s Eve partygoers can do their part by following some of these simple tips:”
· Always plan ahead to designate a non-drinking driver before any party or celebration begins, call a taxi, or take part in AAA’s Tipsy Tow Service.
· Never get behind the wheel of a car when you’ve been drinking alcohol – even after just one drink.
· Do not hesitate to take the keys from friends or family members who may be impaired.
· Be a responsible host in reminding guests to stay safe and always offer alcohol-free beverages.
· If you encounter an impaired driver on the road, keep a safe distance and ask a passenger to call 911 (or pull over to a safe location to make the call yourself).
Remember: prescription, over-the-counter medications and illegal drugs also can impair your ability to drive safely.