We are full stride smack dab in the middle of the 2019 Holiday Season and we all know what rides shotgun with the Holiday Season, yep the holiday parties. You have company and corporate Christmas parties, family gatherings, ugly sweater parties or the mildly entertaining dirty Santa exchange and finally the last hoorah for 2019 the New Year’s Eve party all of which typically include old friends, extended family and lots and lots of alcohol. So much alcohol is served during the month between Thanksgiving and New Year that the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States reports earning over $22 million during this time which is a quarter of their yearly profit! With the copious amounts of alcohol flowing the biggest concern of the holiday’s is binge drinking. As a point of reference binge drinking is defined as women drinking 4 drinks and men 5 drinks in a two-hour time frame. For some of you reading this that may be an average Friday or Saturday night but with the jovial atmosphere contained within the holidays making it more socially acceptable to over indulge many problem drinkers and alcoholics push even their normal limits. Not to be out done moderate drinkers have a propensity to increase the amount they typically consume during the holidays as well. However, not all excessive drinking is attributed to the cheerful atmosphere. For some the holiday season is connected to bad memories, isolation, stress, anxiety and financial challenges. Some turn to alcohol to numb the additional pressure created by the holidays and the intensity of the tension can boost the amount of alcohol they normally drink.
Whether the holiday blues or the superfluous cheer is influencing the amount of alcohol what is for certain is there are a lot more people on the roads and in later hours. During the holidays people travel to out of town to see family, drive to get to the mall throughout the extended and later hours of operation, drive to family gatherings and company parties. For whatever reason people are doing a lot more driving during the holidays and are out on the road later in the night and possibly in bad weather making the excessive drinking all the more concerning.
Regardless of the reason for the over indulgence the fact is it is never a good idea to drink and drive and to avoid being a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistic the best thing for you to do is to drink in moderation. However, as I mentioned previously the festive atmosphere has a tendency to make one more drink more acceptable and that one extra drink loosens inhibitions and clouds judgment possible leading to more drinks and ultimately getting behind the wheel when you clearly should not. So, my advice to you is to plan ahead and start the night with the understanding that things may get a bit out of control. Get out in front of your night by downloading the Uber or Lyft apps and if ride sharing isn’t your style the Yellow Cab Company of AZ has an app as well, or identify someone you trust to stay sober and make them your designated driver. To save money on your ride home click the which ride share your prefer Uber or Lyft both offer discounts for new and re-occurring clients. Part of planning ahead is set a benchmark for the number of drinks you plan on having and if you go over by even a half drink engage your back up plan. If you make plans in advance be committed because once the BAC goes up your inhibitions go down and you are more likely to make poor decisions. So, draw the proverbial line in the sand and stick to it. Your life and the lives of others may depend on it.
We at Arizona DUI Services want you to enjoy the holiday season making new memories with friends and family and cherish the time you get to spend with them but don’t get so wrapped up in the holidays that you make the poor decision to drink and drive. Drink in moderation, have a back up plan and stick to it. The ultimate goal of the 2019 Holiday Season is to see the 2020 Holiday Season!