Why is December tagged as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month? Because the use of alcohol, prescription drugs and street drugs is a major reason for traffic fatalities, and there is an uptick in their use during the holiday season.

Iowans are well aware of the terrible consequences of drunk driving. With the rise in availability of recreational marijuana in other states, this is now more of an issue for all drivers on the road in Iowa. Friends and relatives from out of state visiting at holiday time may bring along marijuana to share, especially novel items such as marijuana-infused candy or soft drinks.

Parents of young drivers need to both model sober driving, and talk with their adolescents about the gravity of choosing to drive drunk or drugged. Problem-solve with teens on what to do if they are in a vehicle with an impaired driver.

If you as an adult choose to use, before the festivities begin, plan a safe way to get home afterwards. If you plan to have a designated driver take you home, have them drive you to the party. That way you won’t even have a vehicle available to jump into while you’re impaired.