New Year’s Eve has passed again, bringing with it the rituals of the holiday: Champagne corks popped, the ball in Times Square dropped and revelers sang “Auld Lang Syne.”
Unfortunately, too many people attempted to drive home after having too much to drink. Add to the list of New Year’s traditions our plea to act responsibly.
Alcohol impairs judgment, concentration and coordination. When drinking to excess, a person is more easily confused, vision and hearing are compromised, and reaction time is severely reduced.
Though the legal limit for alcohol concentration in the blood is 0.08 percent, signs of impairment begin at 0.02 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Alternatives to driving are simple: Take public transportation, hire taxicabs or use a designated driver. Even if you are not drinking, be alert to the driving of others. Remaining sober, unfortunately, is no shield against a drunken driver. Party hosts should be on the lookout for signs of intoxication in guests, and offer a guest room or a spot on the couch for those who would put themselves and others at risk by driving.
A new year is a time for celebration – we bid farewell to the old and welcome in the new. We want you to be around well into 2014.
– Editorial from the Knoxville News-Sentinel in Tennessee