Health Watch - Party Time: Drinking and Driving

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about holiday parties. When you attend parties, make sure that the journey home doesn’t wreck your evening – or someone else’s.

The number of injuries and deaths from alcohol-related accidents rises during the holiday season. Dr. Kathleen Delaney, an emergency medicine physician at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says this happens when people go out to parties and feel so festive that they think it’s OK to drink and drive. Legal blood alcohol levels vary by state, but a 120-pound woman may start to be impaired after one drink, and a 160-pound man may be impaired after two drinks, although that may still be within the legal limit. The way to avoid accidents is to not drink if you’re going to drive, or to make plans for getting home if you’re going to drink. Designate a driver or plan to call a cab. A cab ride is a lot less expensive than a hospital bill – or a funeral.

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December 2009

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