The holidays are a great time of year meant to be enjoyed with family and friends. These few winter weeks have the largest travel days of the year. Around 95 million Americans will be on the road traveling to visit people. Nearly half of all car accidents on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are due to drinking and driving, because people are much more likely to drink and drive on those days than any other major holiday of the year.
Don’t Drink and Drive
42% of all traffic deaths during the holiday are accounted to alcohol. If you are going to drink, plan ahead of time, while you have a clear mind, how you are going to get home. Assign a designated driver and keep them accountable throughout the night, or plan to use a cab or Uber to get there and back so you’re not tempted to take your own car home. If you’ve never used Uber before, your first ride is free. Get the offer here.
Impaired to the Slightest Degree
If an officer pulls you over for reckless driving or some other traffic violation and you’ve only had one drink you can still get a DWI. Just because you blow beneath the legal limit at a .08 on the breathalyzer doesn’t mean you’re free to go. At the police officer’s discretion they can arrest you for a DWI if you are impaired even to the slightest degree. Alcohol isn’t the only thing you can be cited for; medical marijuana or prescription drugs can be impairments.
There’s no Quick Remedy to Sobering Up
Knowing that you can get a DWI even when you’re within the legal limit should be enough to prevent you from getting behind wheel after a few drinks, but it often doesn’t. Many people say you should alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of water, or eat before you drink and snack while you drink, but these techniques don’t necessarily keep you sober. The belief that coffee sobers you up is a myth. Yes, the caffeine may wake you up a bit, but it doesn’t make you less impaired or less drunk. Again, don’t risk it just call a cab, Uber, or use a DD.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
If you’re going to attend New Year’s parties, it’s likely that you’ll be around hundreds or maybe even thousands of other people you don’t know. You may also be in crowded buildings and clubs with limited exits, so be aware of where the emergency exits are. Stay vigilant and alert for any suspicious activity and report anything that seems out of the ordinary; these days you can never be too cautious. Make sure you’re carrying a cell phone with you all night in case of emergencies or if you lose contact with the people you came with.
Don’t Play With Fire
Everyone loves fireworks on New Year’s, but they can be dangerous and sometimes illegal. The following novelty items are always allowed: Snappers, snap caps, glow worms, snakes, party poppers, toy smoke devices and sparklers.
Permissible Fireworks in Arizona
There are permissible consumer fireworks in Arizona: cylindrical and cone fountains, illuminating torches, wheels, ground spinners, flitter sparklers, and ground sparkling devices. However, they can only be bought and used during specific times. These fireworks can be used from December 24th through January 3rd on private property with permission of the property owner.
The use of permissible consumer fireworks is prohibited on all publicly owned or managed land, buildings and facilities, including but not limited to:
Fireworks can be a lot of fun, but it’s best to play by the rules or avoid them altogether. The penalty for selling, buying or using fireworks outside the permissible dates is a fine of $1,000. Use of fireworks on preservation land owned by the City of Phoenix is prohibited and is a Class 1 Misdemeanor with a $1,000 fine.
In the end, have fun and enjoy New Year’s with your family and friends, but play it safe and obey the law!
AZ Insurance Team