21 May Alcohol Impaired Traffic Fatalities Happen Every 51 Minutes
Memorial Day is here. It is a time for remembrance of those who have died in service to our country and the official start of summer. Many people have memorial day off from work and use the 3 day holiday for family fun and getting out into the nice weather. A lot of people are on our roads driving.
“Alcohol is a major factor in traffic accidents. Based on data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was an alcohol-impaired traffic fatality every 51 minutes in 2012.”
We all know that driving and alcohol do not mix. The FBI estimates over 1.2 million drivers were arrested for drunk driving in 2012. That’s a whopping 1 arrest for every 165 licensed drivers. The odds are pretty good you’ll be driving on the road with someone who is driving impaired due to alcohol or drugs. Especially on a holiday weekend.
What Can You Do To Keep A Friend or Family Member Safe?
If you are hosting a backyard barbeque make sure you serve plenty of food. Serve water, and soda as an alternative to beer or wine. Make sure you serve coffee later in the evening. Just to be on the safe side quit serving alcohol an hour or so before you want your guest to go home. As a host it is important you pay attention to how much your guest are drinking.
Anyone who has over indulged should either be given a ride home or you want to encourage them to stay until they sober up. In most states there is a host liqueur liability law on the books, which states if a guest of yours leaves your home visibly drunk and drives away and has a car accident where he or she is seriously hurt or killed you can be held liable because you served them the alcohol. No one wants to go through that lawsuit. Yes your homeowners, renters or condo insurance will cover you up to your liability limits on the policy. Your liability limits can be anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000 depending on what you purchased when to bought the policy.
I recommend everyone to buy an umbrella policy for $1,000,000 liability limits. An umbrella will give you and your family an extra million dollars of coverage for about $130.00 a year. If you like to host parties at your home for your family and friends its not a bad ideal to spend a little extra money on additional liability coverage. If someone gets hurt at your home this coverage will help cover the medical bills that you may have to pay. If you own a dog an umbrella policy is even more important to you. Claims from dog bites are serious and expensive.
If you do not want to be totally responsible for your friends alcohol consumption it may be worth your time and money to hire a professional licensed server to act as bar tender for your party. In this case the server is licensed by state liquor board and he or she is trained to know when someone has had too much to drink. They are also trained to cut them off and notify the host of the problem. That way you do not have to be the heavy just the backup and good friend telling a friend that enough is enough.
Have a great time this Memorial Day and please drive safely and make sure your friends and family get home safe as well.