Well here we are…that bit between Christmas/Hanukkah and New Year’s where you don’t know what day it is, who you are or what you’re supposed to be doing!!! It’s almost time to ring in 2020 and a brand-new decade. The big 2020 is just around the corner, and pretty much every city in the world rings in the New Year in some way or another. From dazzling displays of bright, vibrant fireworks to popping street parties and parades, house parties and events, there will be massive celebrations globally. Few nights are more magical than New Year’s Eve and we hope everyone will enjoy the fun, smartly and safely! For many of us, wrapping up 2019 and ringing in the year ahead is a time to think about resolutions and to plan on some celebrating. We are here to help with the planning so you can cruise into the new decade in the best way possible. As with any night of celebration, you must always keep your safety and the well-being of others in mind.

Thousands of people will be going out to events and bars or throwing house parties to celebrate the New Year. Although this is a fun, joyous and happy time, there are some harsh realities. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day see more drunk driving arrests and accidents than nearly any other day of the year, making it one of the most dangerous times to be on the road.

Here are some statistics to keep in mind as you hit the road this New Year’s Eve:

  • Across the country, 36 people, on average, were killed every day in crashes involving alcohol between 2001 and 2005. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on New Year’s Day alone, that number went up an average of 54.
  • DUI arrests peak between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
  • Between Christmas and New Year’s, 40 percent of deadly crashes involve drunk drivers, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
  • AAA said more pedestrians are killed on New Year’s Day than any other day of the year.
  • In 2015, more than 42% of all traffic accidents on New Year’s Eve involved a drunk driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

New Year’s Eve brings tens of thousands of revelers to public celebrations and private parties all over the country. Don’t let the new year get off to a bad start! Keep safety in mind to ensure you, your family, and your friends have an accident-free New Year’s Eve celebration! Automobile accidents are stressful for victims and their families—and the injuries that result are immensely taxing and painful. Let us help you navigate the many decisions that need to be made so that you can focus on recovering and healing. Let the attorneys and staff of Schulze Law protect you from unfair treatment after a car accident and ensure that other motorists or insurance companies involved cannot use your statements and actions against you. CALL NOW: 857-300-5300 Emergency After Hours Number: 800-894-9267 XLAW1 (5291)

There can be a lot of pressure and hype around what to do on New Year’s Eve. Everyone wants to have a memorable night. Here are some safety tips to keep it memorable in a good way.

Driving Safety

Be a Responsible Driver —The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) offers free late-night public transit services on New Year’s Eve, and taxi and ride-sharing services can also help to ensure safe travel for the holiday.

  • Have a designated driver or just don’t drink and drive. Ask someone for a ride or use Uber.
  • Try to avoid being on the road between the hours of 8pm – 2am. Auto accidents due to alcohol consumption are the highest during that time.
  • Monitor your alcohol intake. If you are drinking, make sure to stay hydrated with water and that you have enough to eat.
  • Take the keys if you have a friend who is too drunk to get behind the wheel. Help your friend with a ride home.
  • Watch out for intoxicated pedestrians or bicyclists.
  • Plan your transportation ahead of time!

Safety at Home

If you’re hosting a gathering to celebrate, it is important to protect yourself from potential liability and be a responsible host. According to Gibsonins.com:

  • As your guests arrive, make sure everyone has a designated driver or a place to stay once the night is over. If someone commits to being a DD, keep track of their alcohol intake to ensure they will be okay to drive.
  • If you’re burning candles, be sure to extinguish them when you leave a room or before you turn in for the night.
  • Double checking the smoke alarms before a New Year’s Eve party is a must! Make sure alarms are working and the batteries are fresh.
  • Ask guests to turn their keys in and put them in a secure place.
  • Offer two types of cups at your party – one for adult beverages and the other for non-alcoholic beverages. This will keep the alcohol away from children.
  • Do not serve minors alcohol.
  • Be aware of anyone who brings dangerous fireworks at your home or at a party that you are attending. A homeowner can be held criminally and civilly liable for any damage done by safe or unsafe fireworks.

Safety Going Out

Boston does a spectacular First Night. If you’re planning on hitting the town this New Year’s Eve, consider the following safety tips:

  • If you’re with a group, stick together. Things can get a little hectic and there can be large crowds, but with a little extra attention you can make sure you’re not spending your night out alone. No one wants to lose their friends or family.
  • Keep tabs on your stuff. Don’t leave belongings out in the open or tucked in places where they could easily fall out. This includes when at a bar or a party, as well as in your vehicle.
  • Scout out your surroundings. Be aware of any emergency exits or evacuation plans. Stay aware of who and what is around you. It can make all the difference.
  • Dress appropriately. Check the weather! It’s a chilly time of year and there’s nothing fun about standing in cold rain for hours with nowhere to warm up.

Fireworks Regulations and Safety

Know the laws. State and local laws may place restrictions on when you can use fireworks. According to Mass.gov, all fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts without a license — including sparklers — so leave fireworks to the professionals on New Year’s Eve.

Local fire departments supervise many fireworks displays across Massachusetts that you and your family can enjoy. Find a display or other New Year’s Eve events near you from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT).

See Something, Say Something

The public is a valuable source of information for law enforcement officials. While celebrating the holiday in your community, if you see something, say something. Report anything suspicious by calling 9-1-1 or your local police department and stay away from potentially dangerous situations.

Pet Safety

  • Keep your pets inside or away from fireworks and other loud noises.
  • If your pet gets spooked at the sound of fireworks, make sure they’re contained in a safe, secure area where they can’t try to run away. This also ensures they won’t break or cause damage to valuables in your home or to themselves.
  • Check your fence, gate latches and pet area before New Year’s Eve to ensure your pets can’t get out.
  • Make sure pets have a collar with a tag with your information.
  • Think about getting a microchip for your pet.

Help make New Year’s Eve a safe occasion in the Commonwealth and everywhere— share these tips with friends and family before the holiday. We hope the New Year brings you good health, much happiness, and plenty of prosperity. Best wishes from the team at Schulze Law. Cheers to 2020!!!