According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 9,878 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2011, including 395 during the second half of December alone.
While that number is actually the lowest it has been since 2005, that is still a lot of people who did not need to die.
Furthermore, in Ohio last year, eight people died in crashes involving drunken drivers between Christmas and New Year’s.
Year-to-date, Ohio Highway Patrol troopers have made an additional 944 more drunken driving arrests than when compared to the same time period last year.
Consequently, the NHTSA and other law authorities have offered some tips for having a safe New Year's Eve.
Plan ahead. If you will be drinking, do not drive. Designate a sober driver or arrange another safe way home. When in doubt, ask your host if you can stay the night.
If you are impaired, find another way home. Use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, use public transportation or contact your local sober ride program.
Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone's life, and inaction could cost a life.