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Here are three ways to ensure your and your family’s safety on the Maryland, Virginia and DC roads this New Year’s and during other hjoliday celebrations. Kurt Gregory Erickson, president of the Washington Regional Alcohol Program suggested the following in the Fairfax County Times "New Year’s resolution of safety":

  • 1. If you’re attending a New Year’s party, plan ahead and designate a driver if you’re celebrating with alcohol, or use alternative transportation like taxi cabs.
  • 2. If you’re hosting a New Year’s party, be a responsible host by:
  • never serving anyone who appears to be impaired;
  • serving food with alcohol (high protein foods like meats and cheeses stay in the stomach longer, thereby slowing the body’s alcohol absorption rate);
  • using a non-carbonated base in alcoholic punches (the body absorbs alcohol faster when mixed with carbonization);
  • serving non-alcoholic beverages as an option; and
  • never serving minors.
  • In addition, do what sporting and entertainment venues do and close the bar at least an hour before the event’s end, or designate a bartender to ensure guests don’t mix their own drinks.
  • 3. And regardless of whether you’re attending or hosting a New Year’s gathering, report drunk drivers by safely using the #77 feature on your wireless telephone.
  • In addition, buckle up. Wearing a seatbelt may not be widely viewed as a tool in this effort, but it may be your best defense against a drunk driver. In fact, the routine wearing of seatbelts is the single most effective measure to reduce crash-related deaths and injuries.

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