TIS THE SEASON FOR CELEBRATING - BUT DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE!!By Brian Lippai on Thursday, December 21, 2017
The Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) is urging residents not to drink and drive this holiday season. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, two to three times more people die in alcohol-related crashes during Christmas and New Year's than any other time of the year.
Ocean County Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health, pointed out that the holidays can turn tragic if someone has too many drinks and then gets behind the wheel of a car. He said, "The statistics really are sobering. Almost 30 people in the United States die every day in motor vehicle accidents involving an alcohol-impaired driver.”
Daniel E. Regenye, OCHD Public Health Coordinator, said anyone going to a holiday get-together or is hosting a party, should make plans ahead of time to ensure everyone gets home safely.
Regenye offers these tips that can help save lives:
- Plan ahead. If you know you are going to drink alcohol, designate a non-drinking driver ahead of time and leave your keys at home. You may want to put the number of a local taxi company in your cell phone if you think you may need to get a ride.
- Don't let anyone behind the wheel of a car if you know they have been drinking. Be as non-confrontational as possible, enlist a friend or two to help, and if possible get the person's keys. If all else fails, call law enforcement.
- Never get in a car with someone who has been drinking. If you see someone driving drunk, call 9-1-1.
- Keep the phone number of a taxi service on hand for guests or offer your sofa to guests who need to stay put.
Although drunk driving deaths have decreased over the last decade, the latest concern is texting while driving. Regenye added, "Studies show that texting and driving can be as much as 6 times as dangerous as drunk driving. Put the phone away before you get behind the wheel and stay safe and sound while driving this holiday season."