Happy New Year: Drive Safely!

A Girls Guide To Cars | Happy New Year: Drive Safely! - Unnamed

Living in New York City, we can usually rely on public transportation and don’t have to worry about drinking and driving. But as my children have grown up and moved out, one in grad school in Northampton, MA, and another in college in Northfield, MN, I am now like almost every parent in the rest of the United States, constantly thinking about what happens when teens or young adults get behind the wheel or in a car with someone else.

On New Year’s Eve, this worry turns into full blown panic mode.

But there are a few ways to help ensure a safe and happy new year for all.

  • Stick close to home. I know, easier said than done. But we always let our kids invite a crew to our house, to have a party and spend the night. Then no one had to worry about how to get home later (yes, people DO actually drive in NYC, and in Brooklyn where I live, it’s even more common)
  • Eat a meal. So many parties just have finger food or snacks, so make sure before you start you evening, you have a light meal. Drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea
  • Alternate drinks with water. For every beer, glass of wine, or mixed drink you have, be sure to have a full glass of water in between.  This will slow you down, and keep you hydrated
  • Download Uber, Lyft or another ride sharing app in case you avoid the advice above
  • Look out for friends and other party guests who may have overindulged
  • Bust out a cake or festive cookies after the champagne toast to get people to eat a little more and drink a little less (cookies and beer? not a great combo). Calories be damned – eating dessert can help soak up some alcohol. Just avoid rum cakes, Zabaglione, or other alcohol-heavy sweets
  • Sign a pledge to avoid “buzzed” driving

Remember, it may take hours after even one drink for your blood alcohol level to return to normal. You can use this blood alcohol calculator to determine your level and this sobriety calculator to know how long it may take to sober up. And if you have any doubt, don’t risk it; call Uber or a taxi to ensure everyone gets home safely.

Happy New Year!

Judy Antell, who is TravelingMom.com's Free in 50 States editor, lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her husband and... More about Judy Antell