The winter break is a common time for people to take extended vacations from work. Many may drive further south in California to enjoy warm winters. Others have staycations at home now that the children are out of school. There are also many who return to other areas to see family and friends they moved away from. 

The holidays are also a common time for drinking. While most people might save this for special days, such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve, an extended vacation means any night is a good one for drinking. This can cause many otherwise responsible people to make decisions that put themselves and others in danger. 

In one unexpected and orthodox attempt to keep drunk drivers off the road for New Year’s Eve, KTLA5 reported that AAA sent out tow trucks. These trucks towed the cars of drunk drivers for free for up to seven miles. The benefit was available for not just nonmembers, but members as well. People were encouraged to call 800-400-4AAA and ask for a “Tipsy Tow.” This start to the New Year may help California to avoid a repeat of the 290 people killed by drunk drivers in 2018 and the 1,140 people arrested for DUIs. 

The truth is that many people get behind the wheel without realizing they are impaired until they have begun to drive down the road. Even worse, they may realize their impairment at the same time that blue lights are already flashing behind them. Because of this, warnings from the CDC telling people not to drive impaired may not always work. 

That said, one reason people may become unexpectedly impaired is the reaction of the alcohol with medications. CDC recommends that people double-check potential interactions even with over-the-counter medications. They should also ensure they follow up with their doctors about any potential bad reactions and side effects of prescription meds.