Christmas is often a driving-type holiday. You drive to the store every weekend to buy gifts — unless you’re the online-only type. You drive to see family and friends for various holiday celebrations. You drive yourself up a wall listening to your in-laws complain about…well you get it.

This brings us to our next point. Christmas also often involves alcohol in some form. Now, we know — we typically focus on cars here, but bear with us. At some point this holiday season, you’re likely going want a drink — or you might need a drink if you’re dealing with those relatives you try to avoid the rest of the year.

No matter what the situation may be, just don’t make the bad decision of drinking and then trying to drive home.

It’s the Most Dangerous Time of the Year

Wonderful yes, but also dangerous. That’s because Christmas combines more people on the roads with the joy and good cheer of drinking in large congregations. If you believe the retail crowd, anytime between Halloween and, well, sometime in February is absolutely appropriate for a Christmas party. That makes people feel like cutting loose.

The problem is that with us all in such a happy mood and all needing to use the road, things can get dicey. DUI-related stops go up more than 33% around Christmas time because police know how this little phenomenon works.

Honestly, though, that’s not even the best reason to avoid drinking and driving — we all know safety is what’s important. Don’t risk your own life or risk ruining someone else’s Christmas by being involved in an accident. There are more than enough ridesharing options out there these days to get you where you need to go.

Take Care of Your Own

Even if your own drinking habits are healthy and you’re not putting others at risk this season, you can still do more by thinking about the people you spend time with. Alcoholism is one of the easiest conditions to overlook because we assume it’s just normal behavior, but if you suspect someone in your family is struggling with it, keep an eye on them.

Make sure that while you’re doing so, you don’t become an enabler for this person. If a particular aunt or uncle is always seeking money for a few extra drinks, or a friend is asking for another glass of the spiked punch when they’re already pretty well gone, consider not entertaining their requests. Even though it’s hard, you’ll be doing the right thing.

Enjoy Christmas Without a Moving Violation

The law knows what’s up, and you know they know, and they know you know they know. Don’t make a stupid decision during the holidays and drive after drinking. There is no one less forgiving on Christmas Eve than a police officer, so whether it’s reigning in your own behavior or watching out for your thirsty cousin, it’s worth the extra grief to make sure your family can happily put another year away in the photo album.

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Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington and is an automotive journalist who has written for dozens of auto sites, including Yahoo Autos, Hooniverse, GT Spirit, The Mustang Source, and more. Scott's website, www.OffTheThrottle.com, and YouTube channel are popular automotive destinations.

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