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Too much ringing in of the holidays can lead to a collision

If you've recently driven through your Virginia community, you might have noticed numerous homes with Christmas lights and lawn decorations. Some people like to get a jump on their holiday spirit. There are also those who like to get an early start on their holidays "spirits." Thanksgiving is just behind us, and that is typically the kick-off to a season of festivity. Imbibing alcohol is a common custom at many people's holiday parties. You might even host a gathering for family and friends and offer some.

Serving or consuming alcohol at a holiday party isn't necessarily a problem. It can become one, however, if a licensed driver (or non-licensed driver, which makes things even worse) fails to make responsible choices about drinking and driving. When you get the behind the wheel, state law requires you to be legally able to operate a motor vehicle. If you're traveling by car or on foot and a drunk driver hits you, your holiday season won't be as merry as you'd hoped.

Easy ways to avoid driver intoxication

Perhaps you're one of many Virginia party goers who look forward to a bit of spiked eggnog all year. If you plan to enjoy some or another cocktail at your next holiday gathering, it's helpful to keep these tips in mind:

  • If you plan to imbibe, plan for someone else to drive. Using designated drivers, meaning those who agree to abstain from alcohol for the evening, is an easy way to improve travel safety during the holidays.
  • Don't believe the myths about drinking and driving, such as limiting yourself to one alcoholic drink per hour to stay sober. The fact is that alcohol affects every person's body differently, so a drink an hour might do the trick for your friend but not work at all for you.
  • Drinking non-alcoholic beverages and eating food during the hours you consume alcohol is always a good idea. Water, especially, helps you stay hydrated and food consumption slows alcohol absorption in the body.
  • The easiest way of all to avoid drunk driving is to avoid alcohol altogether if you plan to get behind the wheel.

In most states, if a police officer arrests you for suspected drunkenness while driving and your blood alcohol content level is .08 or higher, the law states that you are legally intoxicated and prohibited from operating a motor vehicle. Drunk drivers not only risk facing criminal charges, they place themselves and all other travelers at risk for serious injury or even death.

If a collision brings your holiday joy to a halt

You might be driving home from work or to a holiday party or traveling as a passenger or pedestrian when a drunk driver suddenly loses control of steering and hits you. Instead of planning your guest list and shopping for gifts this season, you might be struggling to recover from broken ribs, whiplash, severe lacerations or injuries that are even more serious. 

In addition to your immediate family members, you might need added support. Medical teams, physical therapists, licensed counselors, in-home care providers and experienced personal injury attorneys are often part of Virginia accident victims' support networks. The services they provide can be key factors to achieving as full a recovery as possible.

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