Everyone in Orlando and across Florida wants to ring in the New Year with style. However, for far too many New Year’s partygoers, the celebration involves drinking too much and potentially causing drunk driving accidents.
Whether you are going to Church Street, Wall Street Plaza, a Disney celebration or any other Orlando New Year’s Eve celebration, the law firm of Frank M. Eidson, P.A., wishes you a New Year’s that is happy and safe – and we remind you that being careful about alcohol use will play a big role in being safe.
A recent report about holiday alcohol use by the National Safety Council (NSC) stated that the New Year’s holiday sees the highest average percentage of fatal car accidents that involve a driver impaired by alcohol (43 percent) out of all holidays.
Note: New Year’s ranked No. 4 in terms of alcohol-impaired traffic deaths per day with 45, according to the NSC. The Fourth of July (56 alcohol-impaired traffic deaths per day), Memorial Day (55) and Labor Day (49) ranked at the top.
Between 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 31, and Sunday, January 3, 2015, the NSC states that we can expect 135 fatalities in the U.S. that are caused by drunk driving.
It is no wonder the Florida Highway Patrol steps up its efforts during the holiday season to get drunk drivers off of the roads.
Strategies for Staying Away From Drinking and Driving
From the FHP and other sources, here are a few strategies for avoiding drinking and driving this New Year’s Eve:
- Appoint a designated driver from among your party. This person should not drink at all. Buzzed driving is drunk driving.
- Call a friend or family member to pick you up.
- Take public transportation, such as LYNX in Orlando and Central Florida. (Note that Lynx will run on a holiday schedule on New Year’s Day.
- Hire a private driver, such as a taxi cab, a ride-share service like Uber or Lyft or, if there are several in your party to share costs, a limousine. It’s cheaper than the cost of a DUI in Florida or hospital bills!
- Stay where you are if you can. Make arrangements ahead of time to get a room adjacent to your party site or to stay at a friend’s house where you are partying.
Also, if you walk home, walk with a sober friend. A Loyola University School of Medicine study says New Year’s Day is more deadly for pedestrians than any other day of the year. In 58 percent of pedestrian fatalities on January 1, the pedestrian killed was legally drunk, researchers said.
And if you know someone has been drinking, do not let them get behind the wheel and do not accept a ride home from the individual.
If you see an impaired driver on the road, you should contact law enforcement. On a cell phone anywhere in Florida, simply call Star FHP (*347).
You should also contact an attorney if you suspect that alcohol played a role in an accident that has injured you or a loved one.