Think of the Consequences -- Don't Drive Buzzed

Think of the Consequences -- Don't Drive Buzzed

"I knew I was a little bit buzzed, but I definitely didn't think I was drunk." These words came from Emily, a woman who was pulled over for drinking and driving and ultimately lost her license for 2 years. Her story is part of a very important message: Buzzed driving is drunk driving.

The Ad Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are sponsoring the Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving campaign to raise awareness about impaired driving and to stress the importance of planning ahead and designating a sober driver before you head out for your festivities.

Last year, approximately 10,500 people died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. Historically, holiday periods have shown higher incidences of alcohol-impaired driving crashes, so whether you're at a holiday party, a New Year's Eve bash at a bar or reveling with friends, remember that buzzed driving is drunk driving.

Follow these tips to stay safe this holiday:

· Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
· Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.
· If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
· Use your community's sober ride program.
· If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don't hesitate to contact your local law enforcement.
· Take an impaired driver's keys and help him or her make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
· If you're throwing a party, offer non-alcoholic drinks for the sober drivers. Check out this list of 50 non-alcoholic party drink recipes for some tasty ideas.
· This Alternative Ride Locator offers a list of nationwide alternative ride programs.
· Help spread the campaign's message by posting one of these fun, holiday-themed posters on your on your blog or Facebook page.

Visit the Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving Web site to sign a pledge not to drink and drive; play "Spot the Difference," an interactive game that simulates the effects of buzzed driving; and watch a video about Emily's real-life experience.

"I didn't really think of the consequences," Emily said in the video. "I knew I shouldn't be driving, but until the lights went off behind me, the consequences didn't really go through my head."

Don't be surprised by those police lights going off behind your car – stay safe and drive sober this holiday season and beyond.

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