WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14, 2011 (HealthDay News) -- During the holidays, alcohol-related car accidents claim more lives than at any other time of the year, according to U.S. government experts.
The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that 40 percent of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year's involve drunk drivers -- a 12 percent increase over the rest of the month of December.
Facing these troubling statistics, the NIAAA issued a warning that more awareness is needed on the effects of alcohol on the body, and how long alcohol can remain in a person's system. The agency offered the following information on the effects of alcohol to clear up some common misconceptions:
The NIAAA concluded that people should not have more than one alcoholic drink per hour and every other drink should be a nonalcoholic one.
The experts suggest that people attending parties should consider the devastating effects a fatal crash could have and designate a driver who has not consumed any alcohol.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about alcohol-related traffic deaths.