24 May 2018
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Don’t Let Alcohol Put a Chill on Your Summer: Always Drive Sober
Sheri Schaefer, 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 using alcohol this summer to always Plan Before You Party – Don’t Forget to Designate a Sober Driver.
The 101 Days of Summer represents one of the most dangerous and deadliest times of the year on the Nation’s roadways, according to the NHTSA. With July Fourth 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 has made the season a very grim time for local law enforcement, emergency medical staff, highway safety officials 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. If you plan on using alcohol, designate a sober driver before you have anything to drink.
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.
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.
• When hosting a party, provide non-alcoholic beverages.
• Avoid drinking when involved with summer activities.
• Always remember to wear your safety belt. It is still your single best defense against death or injury in a crash.
BE SUMMER READY: Plan Before You Party This Summer – Don’t forget to Designate a Sober Driver! Find designated driving services at www.DrinkingandDriving.org, the National Directory of Designated Driver Services. 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 the Fort Detrick ASAP office at (301) 619-1751 for the “Rethinking Drinking” booklet and tracking cards.
• Contact your Employee Assistance Program for confidential help at (800) 222-0364.
• Service Member help is available through the Substance Use Disorder Clinical Care Social Worker at (301) 619-8105 and Barquist Behavioral Health at (301) 619-0345.
For more information contact the Fort Detrick ASAP office at (301) 619-1751.
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