The festive season is upon us, and with it, the lure to knock back a few (or quite a few) drinks with family and friends. When cabs are few and far between, think of these tips to help you get home safe and avoid drinking and driving.

Make A Plan

Before – not during, not after the party — plan, plan, plan.

If spending the night or walking home aren't options, do some research in the days leading up to the event on the options that exist in your community. In our searches, we found dozens, from for-profit driving services to not-for-profit designated driver programs.

Hosting? Assume Responsibility

If you're hosting or organizing a holiday function that includes drinking, don't automatically assume all your guests will make smart travel plans. Serve alcohol-free alternatives and snacks, be mindful of how much guests are drinking and if pre-designated drivers have any drinks at all. Assign a sober driver to make trips home as the night winds down. And, if you can swing it, offer to foot the bill for cab rides.

Often, employers commission taxi companies to take employees to and from the annual holiday staff party. If your employer offers a similar incentive to attend, take full advantage.

So, You Slept It Off? Maybe Not

Catching a few Z's after a night of drinking does not make a sober driver. In fact, if you go to a party and get really drunk – double the legal limit or more – go home at 2 AM by cab, but then get up at 7 AM and hop in the company truck, you'll still be above the legal limit.

Sleep has no impact on reducing a person's blood alcohol content. While blood alcohol concentration peaks within a half-hour of the last drink, the rate by which it falls is far slower than rate it rises. Weight and gender both have a part to play in the speed of a person's dissipating BAC, but even if enough time has passed to lower it to a legal level, a person still may be impaired. Bad hangovers can also seriously hamper judgment and cognitive function.

If you plan to drink over the holidays, please leave your keys behind.

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