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Risky holiday decisions can lead to severe consequences

Winter holidays like Christmas and New Year's are some of the biggest celebrations of the year, which encourages many people to let loose, often with the help of alcohol. However, at the end of the night most people want to go home, even though they may be too intoxicated to drive themselves.

Drunk driving often leads to severe car accidents that can cause life-changing injuries or even death. In Texas, someone is hurt or killed by drunk driving every 20 minutes, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

When a driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater, he or she not only risks hurting someone, but also the legal repercussions of a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge. The punishment for a DWI depends on the number of convictions someone has, but even a first offense can include a heavy fine, jail time and loss of a driver’s license.

To avoid being tempted to make the risky decision to drink and drive, plan your exit strategy before you start drinking. Consider calling a cab, ordering a ride from an on-demand car service or finding someone willing to be a designated sober driver.

Winter holidays are meant to be times of joy. Don’t sour the memories of festive events by making the decision to drink and drive.

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