It couldn't be any simpler so listen carefully. This is one of the most important pieces of advice you will receive this season. Please give this your full attention.
If you've had too much alcohol to drink, if there is any doubt in your mind, don't drive. Just don't do it!
Once again, I step forward with probably my most important Rant of the Year. It's an absolutely vital issue for everyone who enjoys alcohol of any type, from wine to beer, from Scotch to hard cider. With the advent of the holiday season upon us, from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve, we reach a potentially dangerous period for those people who over indulge, who drink too much at parties, feasts and gatherings. There is nothing wrong with that, and you can drink as much as you desire, as long as you give up your keys to someone who is sober, and do not drive.
As I've said multiple times before, and which I'll repeat year after year, "If there is any question, no matter how small, whether you are too intoxicated to drive, then don't. If your family or friends think you have had too much to drink, don't drive. Just don't. It is not worth the risk by any calculation." Err on the side of caution so that if you have any doubt of your capacity to drive, then please do not drive. Take a taxi or Uber, catch a ride with someone else, walk or sleep it off. Just don't drive!
Rationally, we all know the dangers of drinking and driving. We endanger our own lives as well as the lives of others. Every year, we hear multiple news reports about terrible auto accidents, some with fatalities, that occur because a driver was intoxicated. Families are torn apart, lives are ruined, and much more. Why don't we learn from all these incidents? Even if you don't get in an accident, you might get arrested for drunk driving, with all the attendant high costs, and not just economic. You might even end up in jail.
About 17,000 people are arrested for drunk driving in Massachusetts each year. That is a huge figure, showing that far too many people still don't understand that they should not drink and drive. How difficult is it to understand? DON'T DRINK & DRIVE! I'm sure drunk driving incidents in other states are just as significant.
As a more sobering statistic, 10,497 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2016, an increase of 1.7% over 2015. That is far too many deaths and needs to be changed. Of those fatalities, 62% involved the drunk driver, 15% involved the passengers, and 23% involved the occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. In 2016, about 1,233 children, aged 14 or younger, were killed in automobile crashes and 214 of those children died in drunk driving accidents. Since 2007, when there was a high of 13,041 drunk driving fatalities, the number of fatalities has decreased but there is far much more work that needs to be done.
Each time you drink and drive, you endanger yourself, your passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and people in other vehicles. Let someone else drive you, whether it be a friend or family. Take an Uber or public transportation. Leave your car where it is parked as you can always pick it up the next day. You have plenty of options so there is absolutely no reason to drink and drive. Be responsible.
I don't want to lose any family or friends this year due to a drunk driving accident. I don't think anyone wants to lose their loved ones either. Your family and friends would rather you didn't drink and drive as they don't you to die in a terrible drunk driving accident. So please just don't!