Who doesn’t enjoy a festive holiday party? But don’t let a few celebratory cocktails turn the happiest time of year into a disaster. Make a plan to get home safely before you head out; plan to stay sober, or to use a designated driver. Here in New York City we’re lucky. We have over 10,000 built-in designated drivers – cab drivers – and public transportation that operates 24-7. With so many options, it’s easy to plan ahead for a safe ride home and have a good time.
And remember, getting behind the wheel after a drink or two might not seem like a big deal, but in New York State buzzed driving is considered drunk driving. “Driving while ability impaired” is defined as driving with a blood alcohol level of .05 to .08 and carries fines and penalties just like DWI (driving with a blood alcohol levels of .08 and above). For a 130 lb woman, just two drinks in an hour can put you over the DWAI limit.
DOT’s You the Man campaign encourages all New Yorkers to plan ahead for a safe ride home, and reminds them to thank their Designed Driver, the true hero of the night. This fall, DOT released an iPhone app for the campaign, which features a blood alcohol content calculator, Designated Driver selection game, and a Ride Finder feature that allows you to find the subway stops and car services closest to you using the phone’s GPS. You can also easily click-to-call a car from the app.
Download the You the Man app, available for free in the iTunes store.
Don’t have an iPhone? You can still use the campaign’s website to find a car service nearby. Visit www.YouTheManNYC.org from your computer or web-enabled phone to find a safe ride home.
Traffic crashes are the number one cause of death for teens and young adults. A number of excellent educational programs have been developed to address this alarming statistic. One of these is the Kings County District Attorney's Office Choices & Consequences Program, which aims to prevent collisions, related injuries, fatalities and prosecutions related to aggressive and drunk driving. Presented in Brooklyn high schools, the program educates youth with information and facts from local criminal cases and functions as a community service program for eligible defendants.
Learn more about the program
DOT's Safety Education team also provides free classroom workshops for high school students on safety, including the importance of making responsible choices around the issue of DWI and driving under the influence. DOT partners with Family Life Theatre to bring interactive, traffic safety theatre performances and an intensive theatre residency program to select schools.
Watch a short video about the work of the teens in the theatre residency
New York State's laws on DWI have been strengthened this year to include an Ignition Interlock Mandate. Since August 15, 2010, drivers convicted of misdemeanor or felony DWI offenses have been required to install and maintain interlock devices on all vehicles they own or operate. Offending drivers are responsible for paying for the installation and maintenance of the interlock device for at minimum of 6 months.
Learn more about the consequences of DWI in New York
View New York's ignition interlock public service announcement