Monday, December 31, 2012

A Safe New Year's Eve

The only thing better than having a Happy New Year?  Having a Safe New Year.

As someone who is in charge of shepherding thousands of students each year through the twists and turns of a college education, I've become quite sensitive to the "stuff" outside of academics that we can't really control.  There's nothing worse, after all, than seeing a student with the ability and the motivation to succeed who is rendered unable to by circumstance.  And--that nasty circumstance always seems to bite us around this time of year.

So please, everybody, have a great and wonderful New Year's celebration. But please, also have a safe one.  There's no excuse for getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after you've been drinking.  It's hard enough watching out for other drivers who might be driving intoxicated when you're sober, after all. 

The AAA "Tipsy Tow" program that's been tossed around Facebook isn't available everywhere in the U.S., unfortunately.  It turns out that they stopped running it in most places after people abused the program, using the goodwill of AAA and the organization's member base to get home rather than planning responsibly safe alternatives.  That's sad, but I can't say I blame them much.

There are other programs, though.  A list of options, listed alphabetically by state and then by city, are available here, having been compiled by the NHTSA and hosted on the AAA web site.  If you plan to go out drinking, you should go through the list prior to departing to program the number into your cell phone.  Alternatively, if you're in the Richmond area, the law firm of Allen Allen Allen & Allen (I'm thinking they need two or three more people named Allen, aren't you?) is offering free options here

And so, on that note--enjoy responsibly, and enjoy safely, but enjoy your New Year's Eve celebration!


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