Holiday Toasts Turned Tragic

Holiday Toasts Turned Tragic

Holly Adams, Page Editor

You’re never too old for hot chocolate, marshmallows, and holiday movies. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, there are more reported drunk driving accidents than at any other time of the year. As we know, when we hit Halloween around the corner are three big holidays that involve a lot of socializing. During the holiday’s people normally spend them with friends and families, and there is always some type of alcohol involved. According to beverage daily, “The most popular seasonal drink is Eggnog at 40%, coffee with Bailey at 34%, Christmas beer at 28%, and cider at 27%.”

We all remember the Christmas carol “Grandma Who Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” which mentions alcohol and its use of it, even if the purpose of the song known as child the meaning was bout drinking. “She’d been drinking too much egg nog,/ And we’d begged her not to go (don’t go, grandma!), But she forgot her medication.” This line talks about grandma, and how she was drinking eggnog. While the eggnog that is bought in the store does not have the alcohol, it is pre-made, all you have to add is Rum, Whisky, and/ or brandy.

Mr. Stockman has been a health teacher for 21 years, and he understands the risk more than others. “I think that it is selfish and extremely dangerous.  About 1/3 of all traffic-related deaths involve alcohol (43,000 traffic deaths in 2021, 12,900 deaths caused by a drunk driver).  It is something that a person really needs to consider when they are drinking….how am I going to get home safely, and keep other people on the road safe as well?”

Beverage Daily surveyed over 2,000 people and ask on average how many social events they go to; “They typically attend one social event a week, but when the holidays came around they more often find themselves at three social events a week. They spend an average of $241 each month on social events but during the holiday season, that figure more than doubles up to $537.” Because more people are going out to social events there are more risks of accidents. CDC does a good job of keeping records of how many people die from drinking and alcohol-related deaths. The information that they have almost 30 people die in a single death because of drinking. 

So many people lose someone they love to alcohol-related accidents. Ms. Miller was in college and had to go through something that many people go through, but it was different. “I think drinking and driving is a very selfish and immature act. When I was in college, I lost two high school friends to a drunk driver. They did the responsible thing and had a designated driver, whereas the driver of another vehicle did not. Since then, I’ve really had no tolerance for people who choose to drink and drive.” This is something Miller had to go through, but also believes that the number of alcohol incidents could be lowered if there were more driving services available. While it is hard for someone to find someone who will go out and not drink, it is safer to have a sober driver than to drive yourself. 

The police department will not tolerate any alcohol in your blood while driving. The legal BAC level is anything under 0.08%, but they have taken the time to classify each BAC level % and how it affects you. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism no alcohol in your blood is best. “ 0.00-0.05% – Mild impairment, 0.06-0.08%- increased impairment, 0.09-0.15%- significant impairment, 0.16-0.30%-severe impairment, 0.31-0.45%-life-threatening.” The numbers may seem small, but they are actually really high when looking at BAC levels. 

Stockman believes that there is a way to allow people to still party during the season, but make it safer for everyone else. “Limit consumption, and have a game plan if you are going to have more than 1.  There are a lot better options than getting behind the wheel and hurting yourself and/or someone else or causing a bigger tragedy.  This shouldn’t be an issue for teens, but unfortunately, it can be.  We talk about abstinence in our Health classes, but if a young person drinks they definitely shouldn’t be driving.  It’s a risk-reduction strategy.”

You may not believe this but the effects of alcohol start as soon as you take a sip. The National institute on alcohol abuse and alcoholism bings the facts to what happens. “As people consume more alcohol, reaction times get longer and behavior becomes poorly controlled and sometimes even aggressive—leading to fights and other types of violence. Continued drinking causes slurred speech and loss of balance that is typically associated with being drunk.” many believe that this will not happen right away, that it will only happen after drinking a few. While it does become more noticeable as you drink more the first sip that you take actually starts the process of becoming drunk. 

It is not only people who are drinking that can get help. The families can also get help. Miller believes that families are just as important even during hard times. “It’s important for family members to keep up with their own health, and that may even mean finding outlets to occupy their mind. Many family members take on healthy hobbies (playing instruments, exercising, etc) in order to help cope with the addiction their loved one is going through.”


Smasha hotline that you can call if you need help. 1-800-662-Help-4357

1-800-487-4889- confidential phone call 

AA also has a support group 

Women for sobriety

ADAA- Anxiety and Depression Association of America