Make this one resolution

Published 12:07 am Saturday, December 31, 2016

Don’t go to your New Year’s Eve party, or parties, thinking a few drinks won’t hurt you — that you know how to handle your booze. You might be able to “handle it,” whatever that really means, but you’ll still have alcohol coursing through your body. That, in turn, affects the sight, sound and motor skills so crucial to driving any kind of vehicle.

You might get away with driving under the influence without a scratch or a ticket, but then again you might not. And if your drunk-driving gamble turns into a failure, a ticket is simply the least-bad of all the consequences. Make no mistake: Those possible consequences can — and all too often, do — range right up to the death of some innocent other traveler. Your own safety might not be enough to keep you from taking such a gamble, but the 3,000-pound projectile in which you sit can become a deadly weapon against others when it’s guided by your drink-fueled unsteady hands and blurred vision.

We’re not trying to be a killjoy here. In fact, we encourage you to celebrate the end of 2016 and welcome in 2017, but that doesn’t mean alcohol is even necessary. Still, if that’s part and parcel of your good time, just make sure ahead of time that someone else has the keys and that the other person is sober.

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Make a plan. Don’t just wing it. Have a friend who knows he will be the designated driver for the night. Have a friend who knows she will be picking you and the rest of the drinking crew up at a certain time. Have the number of a cab company in your pocket, where you usually keep the car keys. If all else fails, drop your keys into the sewer on the way into the party. They, at least, can be replaced.

If you make only one resolution for 2017, let it be not to get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.