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Tis the Season to be Responsible

The holiday season is in high gear. This means increased stress levels, holiday shopping, time with family, and numerous parties and festivals. You may be surprised to learn that the holidays are becoming one of the most dangerous times of the year for alcohol-related accidents and deaths.

Each year approximately 11,000 people will die in drunk driving crashes – one every 50 minutes, according to MADD. Sadly, in 2009, Florida ranked third in the nation for DUI fatality rates for both adult and underage drivers, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

It is important to remember that drunk driving is preventable.

To help ensure that your holidays are safe, here are some important holiday drinking safety tips:

* Never drink and drive * Have a plan and stick to the plan * Know your drinking limits * Resist the pressure to drink or serve alcohol at every social event * Offer guests non-alcoholic beverage choices * Make sure to serve heavy food so guests are not drinking on an empty stomach * Schedule the event on a weekday, as people generally drink less during the week * Identify in advance a designated driver or provide a designated driver and alternative transportation * Consider holding your party off premises (hotel or restaurant) and make sure the servers have a liquor license * Use professional bar tenders who can monitor and stop serving anyone who appears intoxicated * Make valet parking mandatory or consider having a car keys check-in * If a company party, remind employees about any company policies on conduct and substance abuse before the party
We wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season!