It's the holiday season so you may enjoy an extra drink or two. But local experts point to a number of sobering statistics to remind us to stay safe and healthy.
"It is a time of year that is concerning for increase in alcohol intake and certainly drunk driving accidents, injuries, and situations where people are just using poor judgement," says Dr. Christopher Davison of Greenwich Hospital.
Dr. Davison sees patients with unexpected ill effects from increased alcohol intake.
"Sometimes when people drink too much alcohol they have bouts of atrial fibrillation, palpitations or irregular heart beat based on the toxic effects of the alcohol on their heart," says Davison. "The key is moderation and the holidays bring out times when there are lots of activities where people get together to eat and drink alcohol and a lot of these events are long lasting and people don't necessarily pace themselves."
Statistics show that in addition to health risks, the holiday season can mean an increase in traffic violations, crashes, and road fatalities.
"We put 2 units out every night between now and the New Year to combat drinking driving," says Sergeant John Slusarz of the Greenwich Police Department. "We train officers in DUI detection and enforcement and we put our officers out there and target these areas."
"Our officers live in these communities, we are affected by DUI drivers too," says Slusarz. "We don't want drunk drivers on the road, not because it's a stat, but because we get hurt as well."
"Year round, we have issues with alcoholism and particularly during the holiday season, and as people are on roads traveling from party to party we need to keep into consideration that we could harm ourselves or harm others," says Davison. "It's a fun time of year, it's an exciting time of year, but to eat and drink in moderation is critical."