Tips for Everybody
•If you have recently driven while intoxicated, get help. It’s a sign of a serious problem. If you know you have a drinking problem, the best result is to seek assistance right away. Alcoholism is not shameful, and it is very treatable if you are dedicated to success.
•Install the SafeRide app on your phone and your family members’ phones. This free app, a project of the Department of Transportation, makes it easy for you to contact a friend or call a cab for a ride. It automates everything, and brings everything down to three buttons – “Get taxi” “Call friend” and “Where Am I?” It’s this simple because it’s designed to be easily used even for people who’ve been drinking heavily. The SaferRide app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and for Apple devices on the iTunes store.
•The American Automobile Association has compiled a list of “Sober Ride Home” programs available in every state. Another such list is available here. Take advantage of these programs.
•Plan ahead. If you know there’s going to be drinking, have a designated driver.
•In some areas, Uber, Lyft and Mothers Against Drunk Driving have worked out an arrangement to provide free or reduced-fare rides to individuals who have been drinking. Cab companies also occasionally provide rides as well, especially on holidays.
•Understand how intoxication works. If you are “buzzed,” you’re drunk. Nobody drives “buzzed” without driving drunk.
How to Stop a Friend or Loved One from Driving Drunk
•Ask to hold his or her keys at the beginning of the night.
•If your loved one has been drinking and you need to talk to them about getting home, speak slowly. They may have trouble understanding when you speak at a normal cadence.
•Don’t be confrontational about it. That often backfires.
•Offer alternatives. Allow them to sleep over.
•Call the individual’s loved ones, friends, colleagues or anyone else and have them pick them up. People who might resist pleas not to drive may be less resistant when their own loved one shows up at the door to get them home.
Tips for Parents
•Give your kids a free ride home, no questions asked. If there’s a problem, deal with it at another time; you don’t want your child to be hesitant to ask for a ride home if they need it. Teenagers who attend parties where there is drinking may also have to rely on people who have been drinking for transportation. Letting your kids know it’s never too late to call for a ride home if their friend with a car has been drinking can make the difference.
•Consider installing the SaferRide, Lyft or Uber app on their phone. It will already be there if they need it. Or you can make sure your kids have enough money for a cab or rideshare lift home – even if they’re out after public transportation shuts down for the night.
Tips for Party Hosts
•Appoint a sober ‘safety czar’ and have him or her collect keys for everyone at the party.
•Offer lots of non-alcoholic beverages to drink, including water, tea and soda.
•Have food available. Food helps slow down the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. Order pizza, if nothing else. Everything helps. Try your best to have everyone drinking on a full stomach.
•Rent a van for the party. Have someone sober available to take home anyone who needs a ride.
•Have a room at a nearby hotel booked in advance and ready if needed.
•Start events early enough so people have alternative transportation home.
•Keep your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance policy up to date. State laws vary, but depending on your state’s social host laws, your insurance could be vital in protecting you if someone leaves your party drunk and is involved in an accident and an injured party sues you.
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