What does that mean? Outside of barbecues, family and friends gathering, fireworks, sunburn, and celebrating this great country of ours, it also means planning for safety.
Did you know that over the past 25 years, almost 51% of fatal crashes are alcohol related on the 4th of July, according to NHTSA?
Stay as close to home as possible or better yet, celebrate at home. There are too many crazy drivers on the road.
Do not speed! The barbecue will still be there, better late than dead.
Save the beer for when you get home.
If it is your party, offer non-alcoholic beverages such as juice, soft drinks and alcohol free mocktails.
It is cool and responsible to stay sober. Limiting your own alcohol intake will allow you to better determine if a guest is sober enough to drive at the end of the night.
If you serve alcohol for people who are driving, make arrangements for them to get home safely.
Please do not serve alcohol to minors. The legal drinking age is 21 and, if you are hosting the barbecue, it is your responsibility to make sure minors aren’t drinking and driving.
Don’t force drinks on your guests. Also, don’t rush to refill their glasses when empty. Be a smart host; push the food, not the alcohol on your guests.
Food Helps. Always serve food with alcohol. It is proven that food can help counter the effects of alcohol.
If an intoxicated guest insists on driving, tell them you will immediately notify the police
Designate a driver who remains alcohol free
Call a taxi, if necessary
Encourage them to give you the keys
Let your guests stay over if they are too drunk or drugged to drive, no matter what they say. A little anger among friends is better than planning a funeral
If you are in a state where marijuana is legal, advise your fellow partygoers that marijuana will not be tolerated in your home and they can wait until they are in their own homes. After all, you are not an expert on impairment levels for cannabis and the knowledge of alcohol and impairment is far more widely known than it is for marijuana and impairment. Why take the chance? People who can’t have a good time without pot should stay home rather than endanger others. If you are at a party where marijuana is on the menu, leave, or risk your life when everyone begins the drive home.
Use your cell phone before you get in the car and turn it off before you begin driving. If you are lost or have an emergency and must use it, pull off the road. No phone call or text is worth a life.
Stay awake! Stay alert!
Focus on your driving because others won’t be focused on theirs. (unless they read these tips)
Wear your seatbelt.
Keep your headlights on.
If you are taking prescription meds check to see if it is safe to drive. If not, don’t.
If you follow these tips, the life you save may be your own or that of someone close to you.
Happy July 4th from We Save Lives.
Life is too precious to waste it on a cell phone conversation or a drink before driving.
Because we care . . . . .
President of We Save Lives.org and founder of MADD