Summertime is an exciting time of the year. Typically, we are more inclined to want to go out with friends than during the cold winter months. The weather is nicer, the sun sets later and there are plenty of happy hours. Long Island especially is an exciting place to be in the summer. In addition to the nice beaches, Long Island is abundant in nightlife. Whether it’s a visit to New York City or a night out in hopping towns such as Huntington, Babylon or Patchogue, there are plenty of places to hang out and grab a drink with your friends.<
If you are planning to have a night out, and plan on drinking, it’s important to remember the very real dangers that can happen. According to the
CDC, every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This is one death every 50 minutes. Although that is the worst-case scenario, nothing could ruin a fun night out faster than a car accident. Here are some safety reminders to prevent catastrophe.
Alcohol obviously has the ability to impair judgment. The more you drink, the worse your decision-making is and could lead to a person making potentially dangerous choices. It’s good to know your limits before you’ve had too much.
Additionally, excessive drinking can cause a number of problems for a person’s short-term and long-term health. Short-term risks include nausea, loss of consciousness, poor quality of sleep, vomiting, increased aggression, and alcohol poisoning. Long-term risks could lead to liver damage, heart disease, cancer, dementia, and depression.
This is a very simple and very effective way to ensure that everyone gets home safely. The designated driver eliminates any kind of driving risk since they opt to remain sober for the entire night. Take turns for who is going to be the designated driver among your group, and make sure you contribute in gas money for your chauffeur for the night.
It’s very important that the person who is the designated driver has zero alcohol. Any consumption of alcohol has the ability to impair a person. For the average person, it takes 2-3 drinks to become legally intoxicated. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) occurs when a person is driving while their blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds .08 in the state of New York. This results in a minimum license suspension of six months. Additionally, a driver facing a DWI could also serve jail time and have to pay hefty fines.
However, a driver is also at risk of getting a DWAI (driving while ability impaired) when at a BAC of .05 .This can impair someone after having as little as one standard alcoholic drink. So if you are the designated driver, don’t risk it and don’t have any drinks that night.
It’s very possible that there could be other drivers on the road who are intoxicated, especially as the night progresses. So even if the designated driver is sober, it’s important to be wary of other potentially dangerous drivers. If you notice a car that is swerving, making sharp turns, and braking and accelerating suddenly, it may be an intoxicated driver
If you feel you are sharing the road with a drunk driver, it’s best to slow down or pull over and possibly record and report the car to the police. Do not try to get them to pull over and do not try to pass them.
Alcohol can be a catalyst for disaster. Keeping in mind the very real risks that come along with it will hopefully reduce the risk of penalties, accidents and injury.
Steven Palermo is the managing partner for Palermo Law, Long Island’s Personal Injury Law Firm. He has been helping people receive compensation for their injuries for over 21 years. He focuses on cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents and slip and fall injuries.
His book The Ultimate Guide to Handling New York Car Accident Claims details the ins and outs of a car accident claim in a simple, easy-to-read manner.