Every 52 minutes in America, someone is killed in a drunk driving crash. And, for every preventable drunk driving death – 10,076 in 2013 alone – exponentially more lives are forever changed by the loss of a parent, child, friend or loved one of these preventable tragedies.  This, according to the The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, needs to stop.  Take the pledge (I just did, and was the 19,298th person) to not drive drunk, and share with your friends.  They also just launched a SaferRide app to assist.

Here are some tips they shared about thinking ahead, and honestly, just thinking…

If you plan on celebrating with alcohol this holiday season, plan on a sober driver.

  • Even if you’ve had just a little bit to drink, you can still get a DUI and be involved in a crash.
  • Only drive when you are sober. Too many people wait until they’ve been drinking to figure out their ride home. By then, it’s too late to make a clear-headed decision. You might think you’re just “buzzed” and that you’re “okay to drive,” but remember this: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
  • With the holidays coming up, there will be an increase in social events that involve alcohol. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that this results in an increase in DUIs and fatal drunk-driving crashes around the holidays.
  • People wrongly think they can calculate their own BAC based on the number of drinks they’ve had or the length of time between drinks. There’s no easy formula that applies to everyone equally. Many variable factors (e.g., body weight, alcohol content, and amount of food eaten before drinking) contribute to a person’s BAC. You’re only “okay to drive” if you haven’t been drinking. Period.

If you’ve been drinking at all, you should not be behind the wheel. It will cost you—possibly your life.

  • Planning ahead is the key to avoiding a DUI or a deadly drunk driving crash. You make plans to attend parties, go to bars or sporting events, or gather with family and friends. So why not plan how to stay alive and out of jail? A sober driver is an essential part of any plan that includes drinking.
  • Law enforcement actively looks for drunk drivers, especially around the holidays. So keep in mind that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. Are you willing to risk a DUI or a fatal crash for the “convenience” of driving yourself home after drinking?
  • If convicted of a DUI, you face jail time, the loss of your driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work—there’s also the added humiliation and consequences of telling family, friends, and employers of your arrest.
  • The average DUI costs the offender about $10,000. For a lot less money, you could pay for a taxi.
  • Give yourself the gift of a designated driver. Before you start drinking, give your keys to someone else or leave them at home, or program the phone number of a friend or local taxi service to your phone.
  • Help others be responsible, too. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Remind others: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.
  • If you see someone driving drunk, call the police when it is safe to do so. It is your business. Getting drunk drivers off the roads saves lives.
  • Walking while impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.

Keep your holidays happy and safe. When you have any alcohol, let someone sober do the driving. Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

For more information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.