How to celebrate the Christmas holiday responsibly

Huntsville

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - It's the most wonderful time of the year for parties and family get-togethers, but Mothers Against Drunk Driving says this is also the most deadly time of the year.

One person is hurt or killed in a drunk driving crash every two minutes in America.  Drivers have options so they don't have to get behind the wheel after a night of drinking.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving national president Helen Witty knows what it's like to lose a child to a drunk driver.

"My son lost his sister and we are always missing a chair at our table around the holidays. She was 16 years roller-blading on a bike path when she was run down by a drunk and stoned driver," said Witty.

"Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve are the two most dangerous days of the year," said Witty. "Almost 50 percent of traffic fatality deaths are drunk-driving oriented."

Helen said drunk driving is never an accident or a mistake, and it's always preventable.

"First of all, plan a ride with Uber," Witty said.

You can make a plan for another way to get home -- with a designated driver, a cab, or even a towing service -- so you don't have to leave your car behind.

"Hosts and hostesses: provide a mocktail," Witty said. "There's great mocktail beverages that provide healthy, fresh cocktails that are fancy and happy - and contains no alcohol."

This makes for a safe and happy holiday season.

"It's a serious message over this beautiful holiday," she said.

Alabama rates above average when it comes to drunk driving laws. A report released by MADD rated all the states by their DUI laws - and if they include things like revoking driving privileges or have tougher penalties for drunk drivers who have kids in the car.

MADD says the national average is 2.9 out of 5 stars.

Alabama scored higher than that - with 4 stars.

The report says Alabama's score improved after passing a law that closed loopholes in ignition interlock requirements last year.