A lone bar with a single pint of beer

The new year is finally upon us! How will you be celebrating next week?

New Year’s Eve is often celebrated with parties and alcohol. While it’s traditional to ring in the New Year with a glass of champagne, many people find themselves starting the year in the emergency room, or worse.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, alcohol-related fatalities increase by 150 percent between Thanksgiving and January 3. The number of deaths is highest on Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. These two holidays share the top spot for alcohol-related deaths.

A drunk driving accident is no way to start a new year. Here are some tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe as you ring in 2017:

  1. Designate a driver. If you will be celebrating at a bar, night club, restaurant, or party and alcohol will be served, choose a designated driver ahead of time. Make sure the designated driver agrees to stay sober and be responsible for getting everyone home safely.
  2. Give up the keys. If you don’t have a designated driver, give your keys to the host. This will keep you from getting into your car after drinking.
  3. Don’t walk. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more pedestrians die on New Year’s than on any other day of the year.
  4. Use public transportation. If you need to travel, consider a public option like a ride-share service, taxi or bus. If you're a Wisconsin resident, you can also request a Safe Ride home at participating establishments.
  5. Don’t depend on coffee to sober you up. Coffee does not speed up your ability to metabolize alcohol. Only time will get you sober.
  6. Bring an overnight bag. Be prepared to stay at your location until you are sober enough to drive home.
  7. Keep tabs on your teens. Talk to your teen about the dangers of drinking and driving. Know how your teenager plans to celebrate the holiday. Be available to provide a ride if necessary.

Keep those you love safe. Share these tips with your friends and family. The experienced attorneys at Hupy and Abraham wish you a happy and safe New Year. In the event of an accident, you can contact us at 800-800-5678 or start a live chat anytime at Hupy.com

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.