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Beware of Drunk Drivers on Memorial Day Weekend

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Drunk drivers are a threat on the road during Memorial Day weekend, warns Fox Business. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 397 people died over the three-day weekend in 2010, the latest year for which data is available. Of those crashes, 40 percent were alcohol-related.

In 2010, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes—one every 51 minutes, notes the NHTSA. The agency has found fatal crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver are more likely on weekends and at night, the article notes.

Alcohol interferes with a person’s coordination, driving skills and judgment. Drinking can cause people to lose control and become aggressive, which can in turn affect driving skills.

Drinking can affect the brain for hours, and may even influence a person’s driving the next morning, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Caffeine won’t help to reduce the effects of alcohol on the body.

The NIAAA pamphlet, “Rethinking Holiday Drinking,” recommends that people who do decide to drink should not have more than one drink per hour. Make every other drink a nonalcoholic one, and pick a designated driver to get you home safely. A designated driver should be someone who has not had anything to drink, not just the person in your group who had the least to drink.

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