New Year’s Eve is often among the deadliest nights of the year for impaired driving crashes. In an effort to help party hosts encourage safe and sober driving by their guests, AAA has released an updated edition of “The Great Pretenders Party Guide.” This booklet, which includes safe party planning tips as well as delicious alcohol-free drinks recipes submitted by Four and Five Diamond hotels and restaurants (including The Pfister in Milwaukee, The American Club in Kohler and The Charmant in LaCrosse) , can be picked up for free at any AAA branch office or downloaded through this link.
A recent survey by AAA Wisconsin found that 38 percent of drivers who admit to getting behind the wheel within an hour of having multiple drinks do so after leaving a private residences, making them the second most popular venue for pre-driving alcohol consumption (bars and taverns top the list, at 53 percent). The survey also found that party hosts can have a big influence on would-be impaired drivers, with nearly 4 in 10 respondents saying that they would be less likely to drink and drive if a friend or family member encouraged them not to.
AAA encourages anyone hosting a celebration this weekend to take the following steps to ensure that everyone has a safe start to the new year:
- Encourage carpooling, and give a small gift to all designated drivers as a token of your appreciation for getting your family and friends home safely.
- Don’t force alcoholic drinks on your guests. Serve a variety of nonalcoholic beverages at your celebrations and respect the wishes of those who opt to stay sober.
- Have a designated driver or alternative form of transportation (cab/rideshare service) available to get your guests home safely.
- Have your guests “turn in” their keys at the door when they arrive. If someone has had too much to drink and insists on driving, there will be less of a scene if you already have his or her keys in your possession.
- If an impaired guest won’t listen to reason, have them sleep over or drive them home yourself.