New Year’s Eve is one of the most celebrated nights of the year, and while many events are cancelled or virtual this year, the fact remains it is still one of the most dangerous holidays when it comes to DUIs and deadly accidents. According to the American Safety Council, 47 percent of men and 40 percent of women admit to binge drinking and half of fatal crashes on New Year’s Eve are related to drunk driving, most of which occur after midnight.
If you plan to keep your celebratory plans, we at Sheeley Law urge you to be safe and vigilant. Please follow these important safety tips so you and your loved ones can ring in the New Year on a healthy, happy note:
1. Do Not Drink & Drive. You may think you are sober enough to get behind the wheel but in the eyes of the law, anything above. 08 will get you arrested. Police will be out in full force on New Year’s Eve and you can count on DUI checkpoints in various places around Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. The last thing you want is to start the new year behind bars, or worse, injuring yourself or an innocent victim in an accident. If you are going out to party, make arrangements in advance for how you will get home or plan to spend the night. Cabs/Ubers/Lyfts will be in high demand, so make your reservation in advance and then enjoy your night knowing you made a smart decision.
2. Be Extra Careful Walking. While walking may seem like a safer alternative to driving, pedestrian accidents are frequent on New Year’s Eve and sometimes result in serious or fatal injuries. If you choose to walk, avoid excessive drinking, wear bright colored clothing, stick to sidewalks and well-lit streets, keep your phone in your pocket and wear appropriate shoes to prevent falling.
3. Be a Responsible Host. If you are entertaining at home, avoid over serving your guests, make sure you serve enough food and water, and offer to let your friends stay the night. If someone at your house has had too much to drink, take the initiative to make other arrangements for them. You should never hesitate to take an intoxicated friend’s keys—it’s the responsible thing to do.
4. Never Serve Alcohol to a Minor - Rhode Island and Massachusetts have Social Host Laws, which means it’s against the law for a host to serve underage drinkers or “permit” a minor to consume alcohol on an owner’s property. Police are keeping a close eye on gatherings this year and will hold you criminally liable if they observe minors drinking.
From all of us at Sheeley Law, we wish you a safe, healthy and happy New year! We hope you don’t need a DUI or Personal Injury Lawyer, but if you do, we are here to help. Contact Us at 401-619-5555 or toll free at 866-435-5000. We have five offices throughout Rhode Island and are available 24/7 for a free consultation.