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Hosting a Holiday Party? Take These Precautions to Prevent Drunk Driving

I pride myself in helping clients through their toughest times.- Bill O’Mara

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Hosting a Holiday Party? Take These Precautions to Prevent Drunk Driving

It’s great to be with family and friends over the holidays but Christmas and New Year are times when the number of wrecks caused by drunk driving spikes.

The combination of parties and driving long distances to see relatives over the holidays makes this a particularly dangerous time of the year. There are also more holiday shoppers on the roads.

You should be aware that agencies such as Virginia State Police step up their enforcement effort over the holidays.

DUI drivers cause many accidents

You may encounter sobriety checkpoints when you are returning from a holiday party and police will be looking out for impaired drivers, reports the News Virginian.

Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent, stated in a press release.

“The fact that alcohol-related deaths and injuries on Virginia’s highways are decreasing is encouraging, but we still need all drivers to get the message. You could kill yourself or someone else, or get a DUI and go to jail. We need every driver to make smart, safe and sober decisions.”

If you are hosting a party over the holidays, you should not overlook the safety aspects.

Holiday parties frequently involve alcohol. You want your guests to have a good time, but it's also important to make sure they are responsible. You should keep an eye out for anyone who has consumed too much alcohol and provide a place to stay or a means to return home with a designated driver. Here are a few things you can do to prevent holiday drinking and driving.

1 Make sure to have a designated driver.

It sounds simple but many party hosts don’t think to make sure there is a designated driver for guests. It goes without saying that the designated driver should not be consuming alcohol.

2 Have numbers of taxi companies available

Make sure you know the numbers of taxi companies and call them up for guests who may be impaired. That also applies to contacts for online services like Uber or Lyft.

3 Offer food if you are offering alcohol

People may moderate their alcohol intake if they are eating and may not become so impaired. However, you should avoid drinking any alcohol if you are driving.

4 Have non-alcoholic drinks available

Make sure people who should not be drinking alcohol have an alternative.

5 Be prepared to be tough

If someone who is impaired insists on driving be tough. Offer an alternative but warn them there will be consequences like you calling the police if they insist on driving.

Every year lives are lost in Hampton Roads and further afield due to drunk driving. Don’t gamble with your life and the lives of others. If you have been hurt by a drunk driver, call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at (757) 455-0077.

Bill O'Mara

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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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