2019 is nearly upon us. It’s almost time to ring in the new year with family and friends, and a glass-or several-of champagne.

While celebrating the new year is a happy occasion for many, it’s also a day of the year that can quickly lead to tragedy. New Year’s Eve sees one of the highest rates of drunk driving all year-and traffic fatalities spike up to three times their usual rate on this day.

Many new year’s partyers fail to recognize the full extent of the alcohol they’ve consumed on their mental state. You may not realize that:

  • Alcohol continues to be released into your bloodstream for hours after you’ve consumed it-even after it’s entered your digestive tract.
  • Drinking coffee or water does not expedite the sobering-up process.
  • Fatigue can exaggerate your impairment from alcohol. Drinking less than would normally make your drunk could still impair you late at night.

It’s good practice to avoid getting behind the wheel if you’ve consumed any alcohol on New Year’s. Law enforcement patrols heavily for drunk drivers on this day-which could land you with a criminal charge. Plan for a safe night by:

  • Arranging to spend the night at a friend’s house,
  • Refraining from drinking-or finding a designated driver to take you home,
  • Organizing a ride home via taxi or rideshare or
  • Taking public transit home.

Following the above guidelines can help ensure that you’re not the cause of a drinking-related injury. However, if you suffer injury due to someone else’s recklessness, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. It’s important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney about your case.