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How to Drink Responsibly During The Holidays

This holiday season, we’ve decided to go “BAC” to the basics. We recently conducted a national survey to see how informed Americans are on important things like knowing the legal limit for drunk driving, knowing ways to get home safely and how to tell if someone is too drunk to drive. And the results were surprising!

Here are some stats that stood out:

  • Sixty-three percent of Americans do not know the legal limit of 0.08 BAC for drunk driving, which is the law in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Sixty-three percent reported they rarely or never use alternative transportation options, like ride-share services, taxi services or public transportation, when they go out socially.
  • Eighty-one percent said they feel confident to help a friend or guest, who may have over-consumed, get home safely.
  • However, only 54 percent said they have actually stopped someone from driving or getting in the car with someone who has over-consumed.

Holiday Infographic - Who are you sharing the road with

The survey provided in-depth results for 11 cities around the country, and it’s interesting to see how awareness varies between the cities. For example, 70 percent of Seattle residents knew the legal BAC limit, while only 38 percent of residents in Atlanta and the District of Columbia did. Another stand-out statistic we saw is that while 61 percent of Minneapolis/St. Paul residents know the legal BAC limit, 74 percent of them do not use alternative transportation to get home. Denver residents are the most proactive when it comes to stopping a friend from drunk driving or getting in the car with someone who may have over-consumed. Eighty-seven percent felt confident to intervene, and 64 percent – the highest of any city surveyed – said they had actually stopped someone from driving drunk.

How do folks assess whether someone is too drunk to drive?

Most of the people we surveyed rely on visual and auditory signs, including slurred speech (71 percent), impaired coordination (71 percent) and aggressive behavior (64 percent) to determine a person’s level of drunkenness. Additionally, nearly seven out of 10 American adults (67 percent) say they rely on the number of drinks consumed to know when to stop someone from driving after drinking.

Counting the number of drinks is a solid place to start, but even then you can’t be sure. Did your host top off your wine? Did your friend drink before going out? And then there are the factors of weight, age, gender and how much food your friend did or didn’t have. Before going out, we suggest you and your friends use our Virtual Bar to learn how alcohol affects your individual BAC. You may be surprised at the differing results.

So, as the prep, stress and fun of the holiday season begins, let’s all do our part to make sure it really is the most wonderful and responsible time of the year.

(Curious to see how your city stacked up? Keep scrolling!)

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