The Babylonians began celebrating the New Year on the first full moon after the spring equinox about 4,000 years ago.
Our modern celebration here in Northeastern California comes in just a few days as we will turn the final page on 2017 and welcome the new year of 2018. Many if not most of us will celebrate New Year’s Eve — a festive time when it’s easy to overindulge with alcohol. And here’s a simple message we all should heed. If you drink, don’t drive, and don’t even get into a car driven by someone who’s been drinking.
The good news is the number of drunk driving accidents nationwide has declined since the 1980s, but even so New Year’s is still the worst time for drunk drivers and drunk driving accidents. Believe it or not, drunk drivers cause about 63.5 percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents in California. In 2011, more than 180,000 drivers were arrested for driving under the influence and more than 1,800 people were killed by drunk drivers.
Here’s a sobering statistic. There’s a good chance you may be involved in a drunk-driving accident — some estimates are as high as two out of three people will be involved such a crash during their lifetime.
Here are some tips of which everyone should be aware on New Year’s Eve.
The average person can metabolize the alcohol in one drink per hour — a 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine or a 1.5-ounce shot or mixed drink.
If you have a hangover, watch out. You may still be intoxicated.
And despite an assortment of home remedies and old wives’ tales, there is no fast way to sober up.
And to bring up a different but still important subject, texting while driving can make you as much as much as six times more dangerous than a drunk driver.
Good news for Susanville residents — free rides home
It’s always a good idea to have a designated driver when you and your friends go out on the town, but luckily for those who didn’t plan for that alternative, there are other options in Susanville to get you home safely this New Year’s Eve.
Lassen Rural Bus again offers free rides home within the city limits of Susanville on New Year’s Eve. LRB will provide a modified city route from 8 to 11 p.m. for revelers on New Year’s Eve with stops at Modoc Street and local nightspots and sponsors the T&A Lounge, Diamond Mountain Casino and Lassen Ale Works at the Pioneer Saloon.
Revelers can also take advantage of LRB’s free Night Route Service until 2:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Night Route will drop you off at your doorstep if you live within the city of Susanville.
If you need a ride home, call LRB at 252-7433. For more information, go to lassentransportation.com.
And the American Automobile Association again offers its free tow to tipsy drivers this New Year’s Eve through its Tipsy Tow program. Tipsy Tow provides a free 10-mile tow, even if you’re not a AAA member. For mileage beyond 10 miles, motorists will be charged a standard towing rate.
To take advantage of the Tipsy Tow program, simply call (800) 222-4357 and say you need a tipsy tow. Callers will be asked to provide the driver’s name, home address, phone number and vehicle/driver location.
If all else fails, call a cab. Have lots of fun this New Year’s Eve, just make sure you don’t drink and drive.