The holiday season is in full swing. Roads are crowded with people visiting loved ones, gathering decorations, or shopping for the perfect gift. Sadly, we share these roads with people who make the selfish choice to drink and drive.

Each year, drunk driving and DUI arrests increase during the holidays. Let’s look at some of the reasons for this increase, the devastating effects, and what you can do to help.

Why is there more drunk driving this time of year?

Americans drink twice as much from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. But why? A few common reasons are:

Social Activities – Family get togethers. Work parties. Friendsgiving. Most of us spend more time with others during the holidays, and that’s a wonderful thing. However, some people take this as a license to drink more than usual.

Holiday Stress – Whether you’re worried about finding a gift for everyone on your list or avoiding those awkward political conversations at the dinner table, the holidays can be stressful for all of us. People often turn to alcohol as a form of self-medication.

Seasonal Depression – Maybe you’ve lost a loved one this time of year. Perhaps the weather has you down. Regardless, seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, usually starts in the fall and continues through the winter months.

While we have no problem with a glass of eggnog or two this time of year, we hate what often follows – drunk driving.

Drunk driving costs lives.

The connection between impaired driving and fatal crashes is simple. The more people that drink and drive, the more people are killed on the roads.

On Christmas alone, drunk driving deaths rise by 10%.

We hear tragic stories about drinking and driving every day. Thousands of our clients have been the victims of drunk driving. Each one of these tragedies were completely preventable. They happened because someone made a selfish decision to drink and get behind the wheel.

Let’s be very clear – there is never an excuse for drunk driving. Period.

Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to keep the roads safer this holiday season.

What can I do to help?

If you drink – don’t drive! This is the simplest and most effective thing you can do to prevent drunk driving tragedies. Not only are you keeping yourself safe, but you’re setting an example for others that there is nothing cool about drunk driving.

Offer to give others a ride. If you’re with a loved one and they’re unfit to drive, consider calling them a ride or offering one yourself. Every drunk driver you keep off the road makes the world a safer place. Apps like Uber or Lyft have made getting a safe ride easier than ever before.

Get involved. Consider donating to causes like Moms Against Drunk Driving or other organizations that are working to make our roads safer.

Every time a drunk driver gets behind the wheel, we’re all at risk. Let’s all do our part to make our roads safer this holiday season.