On November 16, 2018, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control ("ABC") has announced its agents will be working with local law enforcement, licensed establishments, and community stakeholders this holiday season.
“Before leaving for a party designate a driver, consider public transportation or an alternative method of arriving home safely. Developing a good transportation plan prior to celebrations can reduce tragic incidents,” said ABC Director Jacob Appelsmith. “ ABC encourages everyone to discuss how to make the holiday season as safe as possible.
"According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), harmful and underage drinking remain significant problems in this country and on U.S. campuses despite collective efforts to address them. More information on prevention strategies can be found on their website at http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/ or at http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/." Driving Under the Influence ("DUI") stats from January to July 2018 per ABC: CHP alone made more than 32,000 DUI arrests, mainly for alcohol intoxication.
ABC recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:
• PLAN AHEAD: Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
• DESIGNATE A DRIVER: Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
VOLUNTEERING TO BE A SOBER DRIVER? The Office of Traffic Safety Designated
Driver – Very Important Person (DDVIP) program partners with bars and restaurants to offer nonalcoholic specialty drinks for DDs, among other deals: http://bit.ly/OTSDDrinks. To learn more about DDVIP and other OTS awareness, education and enforcement campaigns, visit www.ots.ca.gov, as well as the OTS Facebook and Twitter pages: https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaOTS/ and https://twitter.com/OTS_CA?lang=en.
• DRUGS, MEDICATION & ALCOHOL CAN EQUAL CRASHES: Statistics have revealed that 30 percent of drivers in fatal collisions had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol.
• REPORT DRUNK DRIVERS: If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate – “Report Drunk Drivers! Call 911!” The call you make may save a life!
And, be reminded that not all DUIs involve only alcohol. Per the ABC and OTS (Office of Traffic Safety), "DUI Doesn't Just Mean Booze." DUI law includes prescription drugs, illegal drugs, and Marijuana use. Because of the new California laws that allow recreational use, users of Marijuana should take the same preventive precautions of persons consuming alcohol when contemplating driving home after a night out. The Department's statistics show that drunk-driving deaths are 100% preventable. Thus, its in everybody's best interests to avoid DUIs.
DDVIP Program: "The California Office of Traffic Safety DDVIP (Designated Driver VIP) mobile app is available for free download on iOS and Android devices. The DDVIP app offers to “Map a Spot” with their current location to find DDVIP partnering establishments in their area or a “List of Spots” to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Also through the app, for those who want to make it a point to plan ahead, users can easily order a sober ride.
Don't let the next victim of DUI be your loved ones! Happy and safe holidays!