Plan ahead. If you know you are going to a party and you will be drinking make sure you have a designated driver. If that is impossible then call a cab or plan to stay over at the party or within walking distance. The average cab ride is about $15 and the average hotel room could be well under $100. Statistically, across the country, OWI’s, depending upon which one, can be as much as $10,000. Financially, it makes no sense to drink and drive.
Be on the lookout. The rate of alcohol-related fatalities is four times higher at night and peaks between midnight and 3 a.m. If you see a drunk driver weaving across lanes, erratically changing speeds, failing to respond or responding slowly to traffic signals or following too close take note of the vehicle make and model and even license plate number if you can and pull over as soon as safely possible. Call 911 and give the dispatcher the information. Although your call may result in an OWI ticket, it may also result in saving a life.
Try a party with sober options. Offer your guests alternatives to alcohol-centered activities. Play party games, offer plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages and don’t push drinks on people. Your guests can and will have a good time with or without alcohol. Remember, in Wisconsin and in many other states, providing alcohol to a certain of your guests, depending upon the age, can open you up to civil liability for injuries caused by your drunken guests.
These rules don’t just apply to July 4th celebrations. They can be followed at any social event throughout the year. Remember, common sense and advanced planning can avoid problems for you and your loved ones. Be safe this July 4th.