Across the country, countless people will be ringing in the New Year next weekend. It should not be a surprise that alcohol is often a large part of the festivities. There is nothing wrong with getting together with friends or family to drink and celebrate, but it is vital for those who drink alcohol to make smart choices. Revelers in Connecticut and elsewhere may significantly increase their chances of making it home safely by New Year’s Day when they are responsible about drinking and driving.

Drunk driving is a serious problem that endangers everyone on the roads. In 2016, 100 people lost their lives in Connecticut in alcohol-related accidents, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This number is a small fraction of the deaths and injuries that occur nationwide due to drunk drivers.

Those who plan on drinking over the New Year should take the following precautions to avoid a drunk driving accident:

  • Plan in advance how much alcohol to consume and do not drink too much, which lowers judgment and can lead to poor decisions.
  • Attend festivities with a designated driver, or plan to call a taxi, an Uber or a sober friend for a ride home.
  • If hosting a party, offer non-alcoholic drinks for designated drivers or to give drinkers a break from too much alcohol.
  • Take the keys away from friends who have had too much to drink, or enlist the help of a bartender, bouncer or friend.

State Farm cautions drivers to be on alert for drunk driving signs. These may include a vehicle that is weaving in and out of lanes, drifting over the center line, driving on the wrong side of the street, stopping for no reason, driving extremely slowly or almost hitting other vehicles or objects. Those who witness a suspected drunk driver should avoid the other vehicle and call the authorities.