PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With New Year’s Eve being one of the biggest party nights of the year, the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission has advised Oregonians to celebrate bringing in 2023 responsibly.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 209 alcohol-related traffic fatalities throughout the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period in 2020. Here are a few tips that OLCC gave for preventing these drunk-driving accidents.

  • Pick a designated driver who will abstain from drinking.
  • Contemplate using public transportation or ride-share apps, such as TriMet or Uber.
  • Don’t serve alcohol during the last hour of a party.
  • Keep food and non-alcohol drinks on standby so partiers can pace themselves.
  • Allow guests to finish one drink before giving them another.

OLCC also said that it directly supports Oregon Health Authority’s Rethink the Drink initiative, which aims to decrease the overconsumption of alcohol in the state. Excessive drinking is reportedly the No. 1 cause of preventable death in Oregon.

“This time of year, celebrating the holidays with those we hold close, should serve as a reminder to not let family or friends over do it,” OLCC Executive Director Steve Marks said in a release. “When adults consume alcohol and cannabis, we want them always to do so in a responsible manner, but not to over consume.”

In April 2021, OLCC approved a liquor minimum pricing policy that increased the price of 112 high-proof, low-priced alcoholic drinks and therefore helped the commission in its efforts to reduce overconsumption. Oregon was the first U.S. state to enact the policy.

According to the OLCC, an “Eyes on Oregon” study further revealed the state’s alcohol problem. The study found that one-third of home delivery companies didn’t check identification before handing over alcohol.

“We’re going to continue to find ways to coordinate with OHA and [Oregon’s Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission] to improve public health and safety, looking for innovative solutions like minimum floor pricing,” said Marks. “That was a win-win situation that brought national recognition to Oregon while decreasing sales of bottom shelf liquor.”

Overconsumption isn’t exclusive to alcohol drinkers. OLCC said that using cannabis and driving can be dangerous as well.