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Don’t be a Drink Driving Casualty this New Year’s Eve

The chance to get together with family or friends, to have a few drinks and celebrate the year just passed whilst looking forward to what the next 12 months will bring, is something that most of us look forward to.

New Year’s Eve is the biggest night out of the year for some but, sadly, often a night where lives are wrecked by the actions of a few irresponsible people who decide to get behind the wheel after they’ve been drinking.

Each year, on average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured in collisions involving a driver who’s been drinking. Another worrying statistic is that 13 per cent of people interviewed in a drink driving survey said that they had been a passenger in a car driven by a drunk driver.

Bring in the new year safely by following these tips:

Designated driver – if you are going out as a group to somewhere that’s not easy to get to from where you live, agree to have a designated driver who’ll stay sober for the night. Many groups of friends do this safely and successfully each year – and the driver usually gets all the soft drinks for the night, and sometimes even the pre-pub meal, thrown in for free!

Taxis – before you go out, try to pre-arrange a taxi home from your chosen party destination well before your New Year’s Eve celebrations get underway. Know the numbers of other local taxi companies as a back-up and don’t let anyone in your group be tempted to “drive there and pick the car up the next day”. Knowing that their car keys are in their pocket could prove too tempting for some if taxis don’t turn up or the weather is too bad to walk home.

Stick together – if you go out as a group, stay as a group. Sometimes, with all the best will in the world, groups of friends try to stick together but end up getting split up throughout the evening when they go to get drinks, bump into people who they know, etc. Arrange a time for you all to meet up – e.g. once for the midnight celebrations and another half an hour or so before the time your taxi is due to arrive. That way you can all enjoy the final part of the night together, knowing that everyone is safe.

Hosting a party? – Offer plenty of food so guests don’t get too drunk, too quick, and stop serving alcohol past a certain time. Ask all of your guests how they are getting home and consider offering a place for them to sleep that night, especially anyone who has driven. For anyone else, try to pre-arrange taxis for them well in advance so you can all have a stress-free party in the knowledge that everyone is getting home safely.

Whatever you do this New Year’s Eve, have a great time and make it a safe one.

Slater and Gordon are a leading personal injury law firm and are proud to support road safety charity Brake who are campaigning for a zero tolerance on drink driving through their Not a Drop, Not a Drag campaign.

For expert legal advice, call Slater and Gordon Lawyers on 24/7 on 0800 916 9046 or contact us online

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