In addition to the presents, parties and good times, this next week is fraught with dangers as people who might be in the right state of mind to drive will be out on the roads, going from one party to the next.

It is certainly ok to celebrate the holidays as you see fit, but it is a completely different thing to believe you can get behind the wheel of your automobile under the influence of alcohol. Not only are you violating the law but you are also endangering your life and the lives of everyone sharing the roads with you.

There are many ways to celebrate the holidays, get as drunk as you’d like, and still make it home safe without risking the life of anyone. here are just a few suggestions to keep yourself and others safe this holiday season:

* If you’re hosting a party arrange for safe rides home from everyone: Collect keys from all drivers as they walk through the door. Stay sober yourself and control who gets their keys back. If someone needs a safe and sober ride home be certain you have either designated sober drivers available or have the number for a local cab company handy. The people you allow to consumer alcohol on your property are your responsibility. If they’re drunk, don’t let them drive.

* If you play to drink, plan to have a sober ride home: This might mean going out with someone who will be your designated driver, or it might mean not driving to your destination at all. If you take a cab to the bar you’ll need to catch a cab home. That’s probably the best idea if your friends can’t be trusted to stay sober while you get drunk.

* Check for local groups offering free rides home: If money is tight but you still need a safe ride home, check your local listings for groups which might be offering free rides home for drunk bar patrons. Some groups such as AAA have local groups which even offer to tow your vehicle home for you so you don’t have to drive it. Check first, before you go, so you know you and your vehicle will be safe.

Enjoy the holidays, have a good time, but be safe and responsible while you’re at it.