Marilyn Buskohl
Public Affairs Director
O: (605) 310-4614
C: (605) 367-3964
Marilyn.buskohl@aaasd.org

Safe New Year’s Celebration Tips for Revelers and Party Hosts 

Help avoid drunk driving tragedy as you ring in 2018 with these safety reminders and recommendations.

Dec. 28, 2018 – As South Dakotans prepare for New Year’s celebrations, AAA South Dakota is reminding drivers and passengers alike of the dangers on the roads this New Year’s Eve, which consistently ranks among the year’s deadliest days for alcohol-related traffic fatalities. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10,874 people died in drunk driving crashes in all of 2017, which is an average of one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality every 48 minutes. In South Dakota, 35 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2017.

December is a particularly dangerous month for impaired driver crashes across the country, according to NHTSA. Over the past five years, an average of 300 people died in drunk-driving crashes nationwide during the Christmas through New Year’s holiday period. For the entire month of December 2017, 885 people lost their lives in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver. 

“During the year, about 35 percent of all traffic crashes involves a driver who has been drinking,” said Marilyn Buskohl, spokeswoman for AAA South Dakota. “Over the holidays, that number can exceed 40 percent. Not only can most of these crashes be prevented, the means of doing so are free and readily available.”

MOCKTAILS are zero-proof beverages that can add life to holiday parties when interspersed with regular cocktails, plus they provide non-drinkers and children a festive way to celebrate. 

For a downloadable copy of all the recipes entered in this year’s mix-off, go online to http://mocktailsmixoff.com or visit any AAA store for a free copy.

AAA South Dakota is warning of the dangers of drunk and buzzed driving this holiday season and urging revelers, party hosts and drivers to take responsibility and action to avoid alcohol related crashes and fatalities.

Tips for Party Hosts

AAA South Dakota provides the following ABC’s of party hosting to make drunk driving less likely:

A - Alcohol Awareness

Ask your guests to choose a designated driver for the evening. Have a car key collection when your guests arrive. Mix drinks yourself and avoid open bars. Stop serving alcohol 90 minutes before the party is over.

B - Buffet

Always serve high protein foods such as meats and cheeses. They stay in the stomach longer and slow down the rate of intoxication. Starchy foods are great too. Minimize salt. Salt makes people thirsty and speeds up intoxication. Always provide non-alcoholic beverages such as “mocktails,” soft drinks, juices and punch.

C - Carpool

Remember: only TIME will make your guests sober. It takes one hour for the body to process the average drink. 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer and 1.5 ounces of liquor contain about the same amount of alcohol. Keep watch on behavior. Arrange a cab or ride share service (such as Lyft or Uber), ride with a designated driver, or invite intoxicated friends to sleep over. For irate guests, “hide” their keys until they have found another ride home.

Tips for New Year’s Revelers

Preventing drinking and driving is a shared responsibility to save lives. New Year’s Eve partygoers can do their part by heeding the following advice from AAA Kansas:

  • Always plan ahead to designate a non-drinking driver before any party or celebration begins
  • Never get behind the wheel of a car when you’ve been drinking alcohol – even after just one drink
  • Never ride as a passenger in a car driven by someone who has been drinking alcohol – even after just one drink
  • Do not hesitate to take the keys from friends or family members who may be impaired
  • Call a taxi or arrange a Lyft ride for you or a friend in need. Install mobile apps or put numbers for local cab/ridesharing companies in your phone before heading out for the evening.
  • If you encounter an impaired driver on the road, keep a safe distance and ask a passenger to call 911 (or pull over so 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.

“If you choose to drink alcohol, don’t drive. If you have to drive, don’t drink alcohol,” reiterated Buskohl. “DUI arrests and the tragic crashes that often result from impaired driving can easily be avoided if everyone is aware of the issue and makes good choices and makes sure alternatives are available, including rides or designated drivers and non-alcoholic beverages.” 

Visit PreventDUI.AAA.com for impaired driving facts, transportation alternatives and expert advice. 

 

TEDx Wilmington Salon

Who's in the Driver's Seat? The Transformation of Transportation

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, AAA and TEDx Wilmington held the first TEDx Salon dedicated to ideas worth spreading in transportation.

This event had:

  • 12 live talks given by 13 speakers
  • 368 people in attendance at the live event
  • More than 7,500 viewed the event online through Livestream, viewing events, and on the AAA Associate network
  • Online viewers came from all 50 states and approximately 30 countries around the world

View a slideshow from the event

This TEDx WilmingtonSalon was organized in partnership with AAA

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