02 June 2017
Plan Before You Party This Summer: Don't Forget to Designate a Sober Driver
Fort Detrick Army Substance Abuse Program
The summer season is a dangerous time of year for the Army with notable increases in off-duty accidental fatalities and injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other federal, state and local highway safety and law enforcement officials across the Nation, as well as the Army Substance Abuse Program, remind anyone planning on drinking alcohol this summer to always Plan Before You Party – Don’t Forget to Designate a Sober Driver.

The 100 Days of Summer represent one of the most dangerous and deadliest times of the year on the Nation’s roadways, according to the NHTSA, with July 4th being one of the deadliest holidays of the year when it comes to alcohol-impaired driving crashes.

The increase in alcohol use throughout the summer, and particularly around major holiday weekends, has made the season a very grim time for law enforcement, emergency medical staff and the friends and families of alcohol-related crash victims.

When planning your summer activities, remember the effects of alcohol or prescription drugs and identify the risks associated with impairment while participating in various activities. Whether you are heading out to the beach or to the ballpark, if you plan on using alcohol, designate a sober driver before you have anything to drink.

Follow these tips for a safer summer season:
· Designate your sober driver before going out
· If drinking alcohol, don’t even think about driving when impaired – and never let your friends drive if you think they are impaired; remember, friends don’t let friends drive IMPAIRED!
· Drink lots of water during your activities to avoid dehydration, and don’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach
· Ask a friend or family member to come get you, or just stay where you are until you are sober
· Use “hands free” cell phone devices while operating a motor vehicle
· When hosting a party, provide non-alcoholic beverages
· Avoid drinking when involved with summer activities such as: boating, swimming, diving, biking, rollerblading, walking, playing softball or any active recreation
· And, of course, always remember to wear your safety belt, it is still your single best defense against death or injury in a crash.

Impaired driving is one of America’s deadliest problems. Impaired drivers are at 40 times greater risk for crashes than sober drivers. Driving impaired, or riding with someone who is impaired, is simply not worth the risk because the consequences are serious and real. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired are significant.

Did you know that there are designated driving services at www.DrinkingandDriving.org?

If you are concerned about your own use of alcohol or that of a friend, family member or child, help is available:
· Take an anonymous online self-assessment at http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov
· Contact ASAP office at (301)619-1751 for “Rethinking Drinking” booklet and tracking cards
· Contact your Employee Assistance Program for local resources (301) 619-4657
· Service Member help is available through the Substance Use Disorder Clinical Care Social Worker at (301) 619-8105

For more information, contact the ASAP office at (301) 619-1751.
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