The new year is almost here, and that is probably hard to believe for most of us. 2023 proved to be an interesting year here in the country and abroad. But we can still find time to celebrate with friends and family this New Year’s Eve.
As we look forward to the coming of 2024, the Houston personal injury lawyers at the Doan Law Firm want to make sure everyone remains safe as they celebrate the end of this year. Let us take a moment and review some essential safety tips for New Year’s Eve 2023.
Plan a Designated Driver in Advance
The days leading up to major holidays, including New Year’s, typically see an increase in drunk driving. In Texas, more than 42 people lost their lives during the 78 hours leading up to New Year’s Day and the day after last year.
If you know that you and your loved ones will be enjoying alcohol on New Year’s Eve, please plan to leave your keys at home. Pick out a designated driver amongst your family or friend group, and make sure that person is okay with driving you home. Alternatively, make sure you have your rideshare apps updated on your phone so you can take advantage of these services to get to your destination safely after a night out.
There is absolutely no excuse to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs on New Year’s Eve. It is against the law, it is not safe, and it does lead to injuries and fatalities.
Plan for Your Guests’ Safety
If you are going to have a party at your place, do some planning ahead and think of your guests’ safety. Make sure you have a plan in place to assist your guests with getting home safely, particularly if you notice that someone becomes too intoxicated to get behind the wheel. In fact, it would not hurt to let every guest who comes to your place on New Year’s Eve 2023 know that they will not be driving home if they have had alcoholic beverages.
Make Sure the Kids Are Safe
Do you have kids? Do the people coming to your party or going out with you have kids?
If so, make sure you plan appropriately. Yes, there are plenty of New Year’s Eve activities that can be enjoyed with kids. However, not every party or situation is child-appropriate. Either plan your party activities in such a way that they are appropriate for the kids in your life or arrange for a babysitter. Either option is okay. We just want to make sure that your kids remain safe throughout the holiday week.
Ensure Your Pets Are Safe
If you have pets, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day can be chaotic for them. Unfortunately, pet safety and well-being are often overlooked when the holidays roll around. One major concern is any influx of people your pets may not be used to. This can cause them to be scared or even run out the door and away from your home. Additionally, if the fireworks start going outside, this can terrify pets.
You know your pets better than anyone else. You know how they will respond to any given situation. Make sure that your pets are safe throughout the entire holiday week as well.
Firework Safety is Important
Do you and your guests plan on lighting up fireworks? You can only buy fireworks during certain seasons in the state of Texas, so make sure you stock up when you have the chance. However, we also encourage you to check with your local municipality to ensure you abide by their laws if you plan to light fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Not only does state law ban fireworks around certain areas, but local municipalities can also make their own laws. Additionally, depending on drought conditions, there may be specific requirements or firework bans.
Gun Safety During New Year’s Eve
If you or anyone you plan to hang out with on New Year’s Eve own firearms, you need to follow every state law related to carrying the weapon. Even though Texas is fairly relaxed with firearm laws, it is a crime to possess a firearm while intoxicated in Texas. When we examine Texas Penal Code § 46.035, we can see that a person who carries a gun while intoxicated could face criminal charges, regardless of whether or not a person is carrying the gun concealed or openly. This is considered a Class A misdemeanor charge but could quickly escalate into a felony charge if an individual brandishes the weapon while intoxicated.
Legal Assistance for Injuries
If you or somebody you care about sustains an injury caused by the negligent actions of others on New Year’s Eve or any day surrounding New Year’s, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. A personal injury lawyer can examine the facts of your case and help determine the best steps moving forward for your situation, which may include filing a personal injury lawsuit against another party.
If you sustain injuries caused by the actions of others, you may be entitled to compensation, including coverage of your medical bills, lost income, property damage expenses, and pain and suffering damages. Personal injury claims can be challenging, particularly when working to prove liability. Your attorney can handle every aspect of an injury claim on your behalf so you can recover the compensation needed.
Ring in 2024 the Right Way
We want you to be safe this New Year’s Eve. As 2024 approaches, we encourage you to keep safety at the forefront of your minds, not only for yourself but also for your family and friends. If, at any point in the days leading up to New Year’s, you feel unsafe, stop and think about why. If there’s something you can do to improve your safety or the safety of those around you, do it. Let’s ring in 2024 with safety in mind.