The Holidays and Drunk Driving: You're Drunker Than You Think

The United States Department of Transportation announced its Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign against drunk driving during the holidays. According to the NHTSA, in 2012, 10,322 lives were lost due to drunk driving crashes, up 4.6% from 2011. During last year’s holiday season alone, 830 people died from drunk driving crashes. On average, 304 people lose their lives in drunk driving crashes during the holiday season.

Holidays pose a unique traffic problem. The three to four days before and after each holiday are typically when there are more people on the roads thereby creating a higher statistical probability of an accident. Many of these people are coming from a party or celebration and often may be driving drunk.

TODAY did an experiment where they invited people to a celebration. Some were told to imbibe in alcoholic beverages as they would normally and others were asked to be designated drivers. At the end of the party, participants were asked to assess whether or not they thought they were drunk. They were then tested. Most people assessed themselves as less drunk than they thought they were and some were even over the legal limit and were completely unaware. “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” is another slogan from another drunk driving campaign and the results of the TODAY experiment show that this is in fact the case.

The holiday season is now upon us and Christmas and New Year’s Eve are just around the corner. Over the past decade 41% of deaths that occurred around the New Year’s Holiday and 37% of the deaths surrounding the Christmas holiday were due to alcohol impairment.

Here are some things you can do to avoid a drunk driving accident this holiday season:

  • First and foremost, do not drive if you have imbibed any alcohol. Use a designated driver or taxi service.
  • Don’t let friends drive drunk. Take their keys, offer them a ride or place to stay, try anything to keep a drunk driver off the road. It could save lives, including that of your friend.
  • Be on the lookout for other impaired drivers. Some signs of drunk driving to look for include: vehicles driving too fast, vehicles driving too slowly, vehicles that stop too far away from a stop sign or stop light, and vehicles that weave in between the lanes.

If you find yourself the unfortunate victim of a motor vehicle accident involving a drunk driver, you may need attorney representation to obtain the compensation you deserve for your property damage, injuries, medical bills, loss wages, and more. If you wish to have a free consultation with an attorney, contact a skilled drunk driving attorney at the Injury Law Center. Our firm has been representing victims of drunk driving accidents for over 35 years. We only represent the victims and we do not represent drunk drivers or those convicted of DWI or OUI.

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