How to Prevent Drunk Driving During Spring Break
Spring break is coming up, and soon millions of young people throughout the U.S. will be celebrating their spring vacations with fun, adventures, and camaraderie. Drinking is often a part of spring break festivities, but no matter who or where you are, drinking and driving is against the law. Not only that, but it comes with severe, often life-changing penalties. So, this year, avoid drinking and driving during spring break to ensure you arrive back home safe and sound. Here is how to prevent drunk driving during spring break festivities.
1. Know the restrictions for underage drinking in your state.
In all US states, the legal drinking age is 21. Check the underage drinking laws in the state you are in and the states you visit ahead of time. And remember, no matter the drinking age, don’t drink and drive.
2. Use a designated driver.
If you are legally able to drink, have your group agree upon a designated driver. Make sure everyone understands that a designated driver cannot drink at all. And equally important, everyone in the group should avoid putting the designated driver in a situation where they feel pressured to try a drink. Instead, get your group to actively support the designated driver, paying for their expenses for the night such as soft drinks, snacks or meals, or event entrance fees. You can also plan and find restaurants and drinking establishments that provide complimentary food or drink to the designated driver in support of sobriety.
3. Use rideshare services or taxis.
Before you and your friends go out to drink, make sure everyone has a number to call for a safe ride home, including rideshare services like Uber or Lyft, or a reliable taxi service. Some ride services specialize in providing rides to get people home from parties or celebrations during holidays or vacations, so plan ahead. Thanks to these options, driving drunk is simply never necessary.
4. Plan an event where everyone stays put.
When you and your friends decide to have a night of celebration when you are traveling during spring break, consider planning an event at your hotel. Book a public area in the hotel, like a banquet room, giving guests the incentive to drink in moderation. Have non-alcoholic drinks and food available so that you, your friends, and guests can consume something else besides alcohol. Also, give the party a theme besides drinking, like dancing, so that the focus isn’t just on drinking. And for party guests who are not staying at the hotel, offer them a place to stay for the night at the hotel so that nobody who drinks gets behind the wheel.
5. Have a Plan B and a Plan C.
Even the best plans can fall through. The designated driver accepts an alcoholic drink, for instance, leaving you away from your home or hotel without a fully sober driver. This unfortunate situation can always happen, but it’s not an excuse to get behind the wheel after you’ve had even one drink. Driving drunk is never the answer. For such emergencies, wherever you are, have the contact number of someone local (or a rideshare app on your phone ready to go) that can come and pick you up.
Always remember the bottom line: Don’t drink and drive. And if you’ve had one drink, don’t get behind the wheel.
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