Ensuring everyone has a happy and safe holiday season

Every two minutes, a person in America is injured in a drunk driving accident.

Every day in America, another 28 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes.

In 2014, about 36 percent of the total fatal crashes in Michigan involved alcohol and/or drugs.

It is important to remember that behind every statistic is a family dealing with the loss of a loved one.

December is Impaired Driving Prevention Month. It is a time to raise awareness about the often tragic consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

There are high numbers of fatalities and severe injuries in Michigan that are the result of alcohol-related crashes. In roughly 30 percent of all crashes in Michigan, the driver of the vehicle had been drinking. During the holidays, the number of drivers on the road who have consumed alcohol is even higher than normal.

That is why the Senate Republicans are encouraging all Michigan residents to take a few proactive steps to help ensure this holiday season is a safe one.

Here are some basic safety tips when hosting a Christmas party:
• Ensure your guests have a designated sober driver before your party starts or reserve a cab in advance;
• Never serve alcohol to minors;
• Offer non-alcoholic drink options to guests, like water, juice and pop;
• Serve plenty of food; and
• Stop serving alcohol an hour or two before the party ends.

Hosting a Christmas party can be fun, but it comes with responsibility for the safety of your guests.

Set the tone early that no one is going to be driving home drunk. Pay attention to your guests and their alcohol consumption. If someone seems to have had too much to drink, arrange alternate transportation home.

Have a safe and happy holiday season. Drink responsibly, and if you or your friends have too much to drive, don’t get behind the wheel.