Health Watch - Enjoying the Holidays: 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.


Once the house has been decorated and the gifts have been bought, it’s time to enjoy the holiday season. This week on Health Watch, we’ll talk about how you can enjoy the holidays in health and safety. A cup of good cheer is a traditional part of holiday celebrations, but think before you get behind the wheel.

Injuries and deaths from alcohol-related car accidents increase during the holiday season because of all the holiday parties. Dr. Kathleen Delaney, an emergency room physician at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you can be impaired even when you’re not legally drunk, so any drinking and driving is a bad idea. A 120-pound woman can have reduced coordination and alertness after one drink.

If you’re going to drink, make arrangements so you can get home. Even if you’re not driving, you should space your alcoholic drinks and drink water between drinks. Keep any drinks containing alcohol – especially punch and eggnog – out of reach of children.

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December 2010


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