Alternatives to drinking and driving this holiday season

Hand the keys over and ensure that you and those around you get home safely this holiday season.

One of the best parts of December is the holiday parties. You have company events with coworkers, white elephant exchanges with friends, annual get-togethers with relatives—the list goes on. And almost all of these occasions involve specialty cocktails and other boozy beverages.

More than 40 percent of traffic-related deaths during the holiday season are a result of drunk drivers. Given this eye-opening statistic, it’s critical to make sure that you’re practicing safe driving measures during the holidays.

Check out some options below to ensure that you and those around you get home safely this festive season.

Use a ridesharing app. Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft are available in tons of cities around the world, and they’re typically cheaper than a taxi. Both apps even provide an option to split the fare between you and your friends if you would like, so the ride is affordable and convenient for everyone.

Ride public transportation. Buses, subways, and rail systems are handy options for getting across town if you live in a city. They may not take you directly to your door, but they can often transport you close enough so you can comfortably walk the rest of the way home.

Designate a sober driver. If you’re going out with a group of friends, see if anyone will agree to skip the cocktails for a night. To make the role extra appealing, consider taking turns with your friends for different events so that one person isn’t always the victim, or reward the friend who agrees to stay sober by paying for their gas or dinner.

Use a local safe ride program. The unexpected can happen—and you always want to be prepared, just in case. If you didn’t plan on drinking and somehow end up too tipsy to drive at the end of the night, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has various sober ride programs across the country. For instance, “Be My DD” has a driver come to take you home in your own vehicle, and “SoberRide” will provide a free cab ride home. Different programs are offered in different cities and states.

Get a ride from a relative. If your family member lives nearby and has no plans for the night, ask them if they could drive you to and from your holiday event. Chances are that they will say yes—especially if there’s a small bonus involved, like a few bucks toward their holiday fund.

Spend the night. Who says the party has to stop? If you’re comfortable with the host, ask beforehand if you can spend the night at their home. Turn the fun and festive bash into an even more fun slumber party!

Walk to a nearby hotel. If you don’t want to crash on a couch or sleeping bag for the night at the host’s home, see if there are any hotels nearby in walking distance. Enjoy the luxury of fluffy pillows and room service while you stay safe from the roads until the morning.

Make it an alcohol-free night. A holiday party can be just as fun with virgin cocktails. If you and your friends agree to all stay sober for the night together, nobody will have to worry about feeling left out. Focus on enjoying each other’s company for the night instead of the next drink of booze.

Sinclair Broadcast Group is committed to keeping our viewers accident-free, which is why we initiated the Drive Safe campaign. Steer clear of danger with our monthly tips.