The United States' National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says 45 percent of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year's involved drunk drivers.

For many people like Valerie Simmons, New Year's is one of the biggest celebrations of the year.

"It is something I look forward to every year, because it's just like a redo. I'm able to kind of restart, push like a restart button," Simmons said.

In order to do that, she plans her driving arrangements ahead of time, so she doesn't end up like some people she once knew.

"I've lost a few people I knew to drunk drivers, so I'm very cautious about it personally, definitely and I don't play with that at all," Simmons said.

She says she uses driving apps like Lyft and Uber to have someone pick her up when she's planning on celebrating. 

Christele Nicolas always makes sure she goes out with someone who isn't drinking.

"I go out with my husband, and he doesn't drink, so if I know I'm going to have a glass of wine or so, I make sure that he's there, and I don't go out by myself," Nicolas said.

Pace Bailey says staying at home during the holiday is the safest choice for his family.

"I know there's a lot of people who aren't making the wisest decisions being on the road. Hopefully they are, but I just want to stay safe and be at home," Bailey said.

He heavily advocates for using designated drivers just based off what he often sees at work.

"I actually work for an insurance company, so just seeing the effects of having somebody that doesn't make those choices, and the impact that it has, and the accidents, and what ends up happening to the other people involved," Bailey said.

The Centers for Disease Control says the cost of alcohol-related crashes totals to more than $44 billion per year.

Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones is offering free rides for people in the county tonight.

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If you need a ride, you can call him at 478-256-6716.