Tips to Prevent Drunk Driving After a Labor Day Party

Labor Day party host prepares food for guests during a cookout.

Labor Day is a welcome break after a long hot summer, but it’s also a dangerous time for drunk driving. If you’re hosting a Labor Day party or a backyard barbecue, the occasion presents an especially heavy responsibility.

In a perfect world, everyone would have an Ignition Interlock Device to keep them from getting behind the wheel if they’re not OK to drive. That’s hardly realistic, of course. Smart Start offers these simple tips that can help a host ensure that everyone stays safe after the party’s over.

Just One Drink Might Be Too Many

Any driver who uses an Ignition Interlock Device understands that they have to keep a close eye on alcohol consumption to avoid potentially blowing a positive test. But even a small amount of alcohol can be enough to impair reflexes or judgment. Every partygoer knows that as inhibitions disappear, it can be a simple progression from one drink to two, three, four or more.

As the Labor Day party host, you are responsible to look out for all of your guests. Just remember that a driver doesn’t have to be smashed (or even slightly buzzed) to be potentially dangerous on the road.

Learn more about Ignition Interlock

Be a Responsible Labor Day Party Host

Making sure that everyone gets home safely isn’t just a moral responsibility to your guests (and everyone else on the road). It also can have legal implications.

Many states have what are commonly called “social host liability” statutes. According to the Insurance Information Institute,  a host can’t be held liable for injuries suffered by a guest. But they could potentially be legally responsible for harm done to third parties by a drunken guest.

All You Need is One Designated Driver

Having a bunch of people at a Labor Day party makes finding a designated driver a lot easier. If 50 people are at your barbecue, it just takes one who’s willing to stay sober and give a ride home to anyone who needs it.

It’s simple: The designated driver uses the partier’s car to get them home safely, then catches a rideshare like Lyft or Uber to get back to the festivities. As host,  pass the hat and ask your friends to contribute to the cost.

If you’re aware of someone who’s using an Ignition Interlock as part of a DUI requirement, they’re the perfect candidate to be a designated driver.

What if you need Ignition Interlock?

Introduce Common Sense to the Situation

It’s rarely easy to talk someone out of driving after they’ve had too much to drink, but not impossible. Consider three things when you’re trying to keep someone from getting behind the wheel after a Labor Day party:

  • Be casual and non-confrontational. Your drunk partygoer isn’t likely to be thinking rationally, and a suggestion can easily turn into a confrontation. Be firm and persuasive, but avoid escalating any tension.
  • Enlist the help of friends if possible. It can be harder to say “no” when others are suggesting the same thing.
  • Offer an easy alternative, such as letting them sleep on the couch or in a spare bedroom.

Pot is Not an Alternative

Now that 11 states have legalized marijuana, it’s tempting for partygoers to substitute smoke for alcohol for a good time. Remind them that in the eyes of the law, impaired driving is illegal whether it’s booze, weed or any other drug. Plus, a driver is just as dangerous on the road whether they’re drunk or stoned.

No host wants to be a buzzkill during a fun holiday devoted to relaxing and having a good time. But it’s better than finding out that someone was injured while they were driving home, or got stopped by police for impaired driving.

With just a few easy tips, you can be a great host by making sure everyone has a great time and gets home OK. We hope you have an amazing, safe and fun Labor Day!

Smart Start’s always ready to help if you need us. Just call (800) 831-3299, fill out our online form, or download our mobile app via the App Store or Google Play.