Bringing in the New Year calls for a celebration. Especially this year! Below are ten tips to help ensure you and your loved ones make it into the new year safe and sound:
- STAY HOME. Plan to celebrate at home with those who reside in your residence. Set up a virtual New Year’s Eve party in lieu of going out.
- FOLLOW PANDEMIC PROTOCOL. If you do go out, be sure to wear a mask, wash your hands, and adhere to social distancing. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued pandemic guidelines to help you protect yourself and others.
- DO NOT DRIVE IMPAIRED. If you will be drinking, arrange for a designated driver, ride share, or taxi. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compiled a list of Sober Ride Programs available across the country. Keep the number in your cell phone so it is there when you need it. org is also a great resource for planning safe transportation.
- WATCH FOR PEDESTRIANS. Keep an eye out for people crossing the street or walking along side the road, especially in pedestrian heavy areas. Those who have been drinking may not be aware of their surroundings, so be extra cautious.
- USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM. Do not go out alone and do not separate. Stick together and make sure everyone gets home safe at the end of the night.
- CHARGE YOUR PHONE. Be sure your phone is fully charged. You may need it to arrange a ride home or report an accident.
- BE A RESPONSIBLE HOST. If you host a party, there are many things you can do to keep your guest safe while they celebrate, including staying sober; offering non-alcoholic beverages and plenty of water; cutting off alcohol consumption a couple of hours before the party ends; providing food or snack so guests are not drinking on an empty stomach; arranging for a trusted designated driver or other safe transportation; and making space for guests to stay overnight.
- PRACTICE FIREWORK SAFETY. Not all fireworks are legal for consumer use in Arizona. Generally, any type of fireworks that explodes or detonates in the air is illegal, including sky or bottle rockets, firecrackers, and aerial fireworks. Penalties for the illegal use of fireworks include hefty fines. Never allow children to play with or light fireworks, and practice fireworks safety to avoid injuries to yourself and others. The City of Phoenix website includes valuable information on fireworks laws, statistics, and safety.
- COMFORT YOUR PETS. Your pets may experience anxiety on New Year’s Eve due to fireworks, noise makers, and strangers in your home. Frightened pets can bite or cause other injury to themselves and others. Keep them indoors in a secure location. If you are hosting a party, put your pets in an area away from guests to prevent accidents. Visit the ASCPA website for more pet safety tips.
- DO NOT SHOOT GUNS. Some cultures celebrate the New Year by shooting guns in the air. Not only is this illegal, but it is also extremely dangerous. Each year, there are multiple reports of injuries and deaths caused by stray bullets. What goes up must come down. In 1999, Phoenix teen Shannon Smith was struck and killed by a stray bullet while in her backyard on New Year’s Eve. Arizona Revised Statute 13-3107, referred to as Shannon’s Law, makes it a felony to fire a gun into the air in Arizona cities and towns.
Fite law group wishes you a safe, prosperous, and happy New Year!