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Tips for preventing drunk driving accidents

New York drivers should be doing everything they can to prevent drunk driving accidents. The single best way to do that is to not drink alcohol beverages before getting into a car, period. This is obvious. However, there are also some other things that drivers and party hosts can do to prevent these kinds of tragedies from happening.

For those who are drinking alcohol, it is important to always select a designated driver. It's best to have one person who is driving everyone in the group, and that person will agree not to drink. Alternatively, or if the designated driver ends up drinking too -- which often happens -- then you should call a taxi, Uber or a friend. Also, if you notice a friend has drunk too much, insist that he or she take a cab or accept a ride home from you. An inebriated person is the worst person to decide if he or she is too drunk to drive.

For party hosts, it's important to put non-alcoholic beverages out for guests to enjoy. Things like juice, soda and water are great options -- provide as many as possible. Also, make sure you give your guests a lot of food because a full stomach will help lessen the severity of intoxication when drinking alcohol. Another great strategy is to stop serving alcohol well before the party is over. Perhaps offer coffee as an alternative to alcohol, which will give guests something to enjoy for an hour or two before they leave. Party hosts may also want to offer their guests an alternative form of transportation, like taxis or rides from sober friends.

If every New York resident practiced the above strategies, our state would see a dramatic reduction in drunk driving accidents and fatalities. We would also see less personal injury and wrongful death claims related to drunk driving catastrophes. Indeed, individuals who are injured by drunk drivers have the right to seek financial restitution in court, and only by doing so will they have the chance to receive just compensation for the financial damages and other injuries they have suffered.

Source: State Farm, "Tips To Prevent Drinking And Driving," accessed Sep. 15, 2016

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