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Are you looking forward to Labor Day weekend? Whether you plan to grill out, take a swim, or turn off your alarm and sleep in, Labor Day is a day worth celebrating. It’s a mini-vacation to cap off the summer, and a promise of milder weather to come. Many workers enjoy a well-earned day off.

But for police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and doctors, it’s one of the busiest days of the year. That’s because holiday drinking makes Labor Day weekend one of the most dangerous times on the road.

The drunk driving facts are astounding, especially with so many safe alternatives. According to the NHTSA, we lose one person every 51 minutes to an accident involving drunk drivers. A weekend that’s meant for celebrating turns deadly far too often. Let’s look at how to prevent drunk driving this Labor Day weekend.

Designate with Rewards

Not everyone wants to jump in and be the designated driver, so this Labor Day, offer a reward to whoever steps up. With the right prize, people might be fighting for the chance to stay sober and drive. You can also offer to take turns throughout the weekend, so everyone has an opportunity to celebrate. Some things you can offer your designated driver are:

  • Free dinner
  • Free childcare
  • Mow their lawn
  • Clean their house
  • Walk their dog

Use the SaferRide App

NHTSA created a mobile app called SaferRide. Not only does it allow you to locate a taxi to pick you up, but it also alerts friends and family to your location. If you’re curious about how to prevent drunk driving, here’s your answer. This app is a way to get you home safely, even if you can’t afford a lift. A friend or relative can quickly locate you and come to your rescue, preventing catastrophic outcomes.

Holiday drinking not only leads to tragedy and death, drunk driving facts show us that it’s also incredibly costly. According the NHTSA, drunk driving fines can be excessive, not to mention attorney fees, insurance fees, and missed wages for incarceration. That’s why they’re so passionate about how to prevent drunk driving, and remind drivers to “drive sober or get pulled over.”

Even One and You’re Done

Even one drink can cause impairment, affecting your ability to drive. Everyone metabolizes alcohol differently, even from one day to the next. The type of alcohol, the other things in your system, and even the environment can affect how quickly you get drunk. Holiday drinking is especially dangerous because it often involves outdoor drinking in warm temperatures, which can increase the risk of dehydration.

According to the National Institute of Health, dehydration exacerbates impaired cognitive function when you are drinking. Alcohol itself is dehydrating to the body as a diuretic- and when combined with hot weather, impairment is significantly increased. This can lead to health risks, as well as impaired judgment. The more you drink, the more likely you are to think things like, ‘I’m fine,” and, “I’ve only had a little” to drink. There’s no such thing as a small enough amount to make it safe to drive.

Spread the Word

Did you know that men are more likely to drive drunk? (CDC.gov) Did you know that a first time DUI could cost you $25,000 (Alcohol.org)? Did you know that 10,000 people a year die because of drunk driving (NHTSA.gov)? Did you know that men between the ages of 21 and 34 make up only 11% of the population but 32% of drunk drivers (CDC.gov)? Spread the word about these drunk driving facts. Let your friends know, and hold each other accountable, so you don’t become a statistic.

Labor Day is one of the most dangerous holidays when it comes to drunk driving, but you can be part of the solution. Knowing how to prevent drunk driving with these tips can help keep your loved ones safe. If you are required to obtain an ignition interlock to prevent drunk driving offenses, contact us today. Our goal is to help you get back in the driver’s seat, as soon as possible!

*Links to any third-party websites herein are provided for your reference and convenience only. Dräger did not create nor develop, and does not own, any such third-party websites. Dräger does not endorse nor support the content of, nor any opinions stated in, any such third-party website links. Dräger is not responsible for the content of any third-party website or its accuracy or reliability. Nothing contained in this article or in any such third-party website shall be considered legal advice or be deemed to constitute legal advice. For any legal advice concerning a DUI arrest, charge, conviction or consequences thereof, you should contact an attorney of your choice.