McCoy & Hiestand Attorneys at Law

There’s no doubt New Year’s Eve is a time for celebration but we shouldn’t use that as an excuse to let common sense falter.

Firstly, don’t drink and drive, plan ahead to ensure you have a sober driver.  Jan. 1 has the highest percent of deaths related to alcohol, according to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety data. Between 2007 and 2011, alcohol accounted for 42 percent of all traffic deaths during the holiday.

Believing a cup of coffee (or two) can sober you up enough to drive is a widely accepted and seriously dangerous myth to rely on. Many people believe that coffee sobers you up in that the caffeine will speed up alcohol’s metabolism. As a result, many think it is helpful to drink a quick cup of coffee before hitting the road. However, this is a MYTH. Coffee may help you wake up a bit, but will not sober you up. The only cure for being drunk is time. If you need to get home and don’t have time to wait, get a ride from a sober driver or call a cab. You don’t want to risk getting into an accident and hurting yourself, or someone else.

On top of the dangerous roads after celebrating, New Year’s Day is the second most active holiday for car thefts. If you must leave your car somewhere overnight, be sure it’s locked and try to pick it up as early as possible the next day. This is another instance where planning ahead can save you from loads of trouble.

Are you hosting the party this year? Champagne is nearly synonymous with ringing in the New Year but the bubbly drink poses a few risks as well. You can avoid eye injuries, and broken windows, if you follow the advice of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and remember the number 45. Chill your champagne to at least 45°F, as this will make the cork less likely to pop out unexpectedly, and you should hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle, pointing it away from yourself and others. Then, after removing the wire hood, place a towel over the top of the bottle and grasp the cork. With the bottle in one hand, slowly twist the cork, applying gentle upward pressure. When you feel the cork about to pop out, reverse pressure to a slight downward tilt. If all goes well, you’ll have a cork in one hand, a full bottle in the other, and no injuries in sight.

Be extra careful with Fireworks: If you are letting off fireworks in a residential area, be sure to practice proper safety precautions when using them. Let off fireworks in a field or other open area where homes and power lines are out of sight. Have a fire extinguisher nearby and never try to re-light a firework that did not go off when first lit. Always have an adult present when using any type of firework.

Pets are often scared by sudden loud noises which can cause them to run away. Keep your pets inside or away from fireworks. Be sure your fence, gate latches and pet area are secure before New Year’s Eve to ensure your pets can’t get out.

With these tips and your loved ones by your side you’re sure to have an unforgettable New Year’s Eve!


Happy New Year from all of us at McCoy, Hiestand & Smith!

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