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Make Wise Decisions Tonight: Designated Drivers May Save Your Life

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You’re going out tonight, right? Of course you are! But first, please hear me out:

Last year, more than 10,000 Americans died in drunk driving crashes. During the New Year’s holiday period—from December 31 through January 5—the nation lost 31 lives per day in drunk driving crashes, for a total of 139 deaths over 4.5 days. During Christmas and New Year’s holidays last year, 259 lives were lost.

Luckily, the decisions you make today could greatly protect you. Understand the risks of drinking and driving, and don’t fall for false information. The conventional formula that’s all-too-often used states that “1 beer = 1 glass of wine = 1 shot of whisky” but it’s misleading—and all too simplistic. While it’s a good piece of communication to caution would-be drinkers (especially that beer and wine can be just as problematic to your sobriety as whisky), it may lead some to disregard the alcohol content or ‘proof’ of what they’re consuming.

To ensure your safety, follow these key steps:

  • Make sure you’ve got a designated driver you can trust
  • If you’re drinking, remember there’s no need to ‘keep up’ with anyone else
  • Don’t drink on an empty stomach and remember, moderation is always best
  • Know what you’re consuming and its alcohol content

And a few notes on bubbly, the New Year’s favorite:

  • When it comes to Champagne, understand that it’s much more potent than conventional table wines. That’s because it’s a sparkling wine with a higher alcohol content.
  • Champagne attains its natural effervescence through a process called méthode champenoise, which was first discovered and created by Franciscan monks and Dom Perignon. (Yes, he was a monk!) Sugar and yeast are added before bottling, which initiates the secondary fermentation in the bottle. This process raises the wine’s alcohol content and imbues the Champagne with its spritz. And it’s the secondary fermentation—the bubbles—that get the alcohol into your bloodstream quicker.
  • It’s (generally) never served over ice, like most cocktails, and therefore it’s (generally) never diluted. Champagnes generally have alcohol content ranging between 11 percent and 17 percent. So, be prudent. Most table wines are generally 9 to 12 percent alcohol and most mass market beers can be anywhere from 3-8% alcohol. Budweiser is 5% alcohol by volume and light beers are usually a bit less. Most whiskey is at least 30% alcohol and could go as high as 50% percent alcohol, which translates to 60-proof to 100-proof.

If you keep it in moderation, you’ll have the Happy New Year we all deserve. Stay safe, everybody!

GasBuddy is a smartphone app connecting drivers with their Perfect Pit Stop™. With 70 million downloads, GasBuddy is the leader in crowdsourced information to help drivers find the best gas prices, closest stations, friendliest service, cleanest restrooms, tastiest coffee and much more. GasBuddy is the leading source for the most accurate, real-time fuel prices at more than 140,000 gas stations in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

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