Most people don’t wake up on Christmas Morning and plan on driving drunk that evening, but that’s what is happening in virtually every community in the United States each holiday season.

The holidays should be a happy and festive time spent with loved ones, but drinking and driving can take that all away in an instant. According to The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drunk drivers play a role in 40% of traffic deaths between Christmas and New Year’s, averaging 300 deaths, thousands of injuries, and hundreds of families impacted each year.

While drunk driving is a problem year round, researchers have notice an uptick during the holiday season. Parties, time off work, and other factors associated with the holidays can help put people of all alcohol appetites in situations where they may have had too much to drink and should not drive home.

If you are going to drink (especially this holiday season), a little bit of sober planning can go a long way. Designated drivers, taxis, and ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber are a much better bet than risking the lives of everyone on the road. If you can’t plan a safe ride home, consider not drinking or staying home.

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will be out in full force throughout Douglas County looking for impaired drivers as part of the statewide Joining Forces campaign that has already led to the arrest of 20 people on December 20 and 21 in Reno.

Partnership Douglas County sponsored a free-ride-home service that gave over 130 safe rides home to people that may have had too much to drink before the program was shut-down by the Nevada Transportation Authority (NTA) in October of 2019. Staff from Partnership Douglas County are working to bring the “Don’t Drink and Drive” program back, but have not been met with much help from the NTA.