Here at South Dakota 811 we view ourselves as not only a damage prevention source, but also as a provider of on the job safety when it comes to excavation.   Our goal is simple – at the end of the day, we want you to get home safely from your job site with no damage to underground facilities.

Calling 811 before ANY excavation is your responsibility – and so is something else.

According to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), an average of 300 people have died in drunk driving crashes during the Christmas to New Year’s holiday period over the last five years. Last year, 781 people were killed in drunk driving crashes during December alone.

That’s a terrifying – and entirely preventable – statistic.

Even if you manage to drive drunk without hitting anyone and get caught, it’s still going to cost you an average of $10,000 in attorney fees, court costs, fines and other items.

How can I prevent this, you may be asking yourself.   The same way you prevent digging up underground facilities.   YOU USE THE PHONE AND YOUR HEAD FIRST.

For one thing, NHTSA has set up its own SaferRide app. It will help you call a taxi or a friend to pick you up. It’s available for Android on Google Play and Apple in the iTunes store.

Of course, there is also Uber and Lyft in addition to the traditional cabs and taxis.   You can also designate a non-drinking driver. Many bars and some restaurants will comp that person’s meal as designated driver. (But be warned – I knew of one place that would comp the designated driver – but if they caught you taking a drink, they asked your entire party to leave, and YOU had to pay the entire party’s bar tab, regardless!)

So you see, there’s really no reason at all for a drunk driving incident on New Year’s Eve – or for that matter, any other time.  You have almost as many choices for getting a safe ride home as you have for getting in touch with us here at South Dakota 811 to have underground facilities located before you dig.

We’ll look into New Year’s resolutions next time!   Until next week, safe digging and safe driving!

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