CHARLOTTE, N.C. (December 27, 2019) AAA Carolinas urges those planning to celebrate the arrival of 2020 to do so responsibly. New Year’s Eve is one of the holidays that is widely celebrated with alcohol. If drinking is part of your New Year’s holiday plan this season, don’t get behind the wheel.
“Don’t start 2020 with a tragedy,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson. “Have a plan before you take your first sip of alcohol by designating a sober driver or utilizing a ride sharing service such as Uber or Lyft to ensure a safe holiday for you and everyone else on the road.”
Last year in North Carolina, there were 1,204 crashes resulting in eight fatalities and 555 injuries from the time period of New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day, according to the NCDOT. Last year in South Carolina, there were 1,226 collisions resulting in 16 fatalities and 549 injuries over the New Year’s holiday weekend, according to the SCDPS.
For those celebrating New Year’s, AAA Carolinas offers the following tips:
- Decide ahead of time whether you will be drinking or driving – you cannot do both.
- Plan your ride home before the night begins – whether that be designating a sober driver or planning to use a taxi service/ride sharing service.
- Download a ride-sharing app for convenience. Play around with the app to familiarize yourself with it.
- Be aware of those around you. If you see someone getting behind the wheel intoxicated, take their keys and assist them in finding a safe ride home.
- If you are hosting a party with alcohol, be a responsible host. Allow guests to stay the night if they need to or find them a safe ride home.
- Have non-alcoholic beverages on hand and stop serving alcohol at least an hour before your guests go home.
- If you see a driver on the road who you suspect is impaired, pull over to a safe spot and call 911 – giving police a description of the vehicle.
Motorists are also advised to keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink and may jaywalk and not obey traffic signals. Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as coordination and lack of attention puts drunk pedestrians at risk of getting hit by a vehicle. Bar crawlers are urged to keep an eye out for cars, cross at intersections, and obey walk signals.
A number of AAA clubs throughout the country are offering holiday safe ride services on select dates for members and nonmembers. These services are not available everywhere. For a comprehensive list of the clubs participating, please click here.
The North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program is partnering with law enforcement across the state to put on its annual holiday Booze It & Lose It campaign, which runs from Dec. 8, 2019 – Jan. 1, 2020.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety is holding its enforcement component of the holiday Sober or Slammer! Campaign from Dec. 12, 2019 – Jan. 1, 2020. During this time, extra law enforcement will be on the roads for the purpose of spotting impaired drivers.
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 2.2 million members and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.