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A Sobering Message from AAA
Drunk Driving in Connecticut Headed in the Wrong Direction
HARTFORD, CT (December 28, 2018) – As we prepare to ring in a new year, AAA is sharing a sobering reminder: when it comes to drunk driving, Connecticut is headed in the wrong direction.
“Statistics indicate that, while drunk driving is decreasing nationwide, the opposite holds true for Connecticut,” says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA. “These tragedies are 100% preventable and it is critical that everyone do their part to reverse this disturbing trend.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nationwide, alcohol-related crashes were down slightly from 2016 to 2017, but in Connecticut, they were up almost 3 and a half percent.
And, NHTSA says, New Year’s day consistently ranks among the year’s deadliest days for alcohol-related traffic fatalities.
“Previous AAA polling of Connecticut drivers also indicates that more younger drivers are using marijuana and getting behind the wheel, adding to the cause for concern," Parmenter says.
NHTSA 2017 Statistics
- Almost 11,000 people died in alcohol-related crashes in 2017; In fact, on average, more than 10,000 people died each year from 2013 to 2017 in drunk-driving crashes. To put it in perspective, that’s equal to about 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors. (NHTSA)
- Nationally, alcohol-related crashes made up 29% of all fatal crashes
- In Connecticut, alcohol-related crashes represented 43% of all fatal crashes
To strengthen efforts to protect the public and reduce impaired driving traffic deaths, AAA is offering these important reminders for those planning to attend or host a New Year's celebration.
TIPs for Party Hosts
Remember your ABCs!
A - Alcohol Awareness
Ask your guests to choose a designated driver for the evening. Have a car key collection when your guests arrive. Mix drinks yourself and avoid open bars. Stop serving alcohol 90 minutes before the party is over.
B – Buffet
Always serve high protein foods such as meats and cheeses. They stay in the stomach longer and slow down the rate of intoxication. Starchy foods are great too. Minimize salt. Salt makes people thirsty and speeds up intoxication. Always provide non-alcoholic beverages such as “mocktails,” soft drinks, juices and punch.
C – Carpool/Carshare
Remember: only TIME will make your guests sober. It takes one hour for the body to process the average drink. 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer and 1.5 ounces of liquor contain about the same amount of alcohol. Keep watch on behavior. Arrange a cab or ride share service (such as Lyft or Uber), ride with a designated driver, or invite intoxicated friends to sleep over. For irate guests, “hide” their keys until they have found another ride home.
Tips for New Year’s Revelers
Preventing drinking and driving is a shared responsibility to save lives. New Year’s Eve partygoers can do their part by heeding the following advice:
- Always plan ahead to designate a non-drinking driver before any party or celebration begins
- Never get behind the wheel of a car when you’ve been drinking alcohol – even after just one drink
- Never ride as a passenger in a car driven by someone who has been drinking alcohol – even after just one drink
- Do not hesitate to take the keys from friends or family members who may be impaired
- Call a taxi or arrange a Lyft ride for you or a friend in need. Install mobile apps or put numbers for local cab/ridesharing companies in your phone before heading out for the evening.
- If you encounter an impaired driver on the road, keep a safe distance and ask a passenger to call 911 (or pull over so a safe location to make the call yourself)
- Remember: Prescription, over-the-counter medications and illegal drugs also can impair your ability to drive safely.
Visit PreventDUI.AAA.com for impaired driving facts, transportation alternatives and expert advice.
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West Hartford, CT 06119
AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Connecticut. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.aaa.com.