How the Holiday Season Impacts DUIs

How the Holiday Season Impacts DUIs

DUIs & The Holidays

Every 45 minutes, someone in the United States dies in a drunk-driving accident, which adds up to over 11,000 fatalities per year. During the holidays, drunk driving accidents often increase because of a variety of factors.

The National Safety Council collects data and makes estimates concerning motor vehicle accident deaths. Here are a few statistics concerning DUI-related accidents and holidays from the NSC:

  • In 2020, 36% of fatalities that occurred during the Thanksgiving period were drunk driving accidents.
  • In 2019, 38% of Christmas day vehicular accident fatalities involved alcohol impairment.
  • During the New Year’s period in 2019, 36% of car accident fatalities involved an impaired driver.

Below, we will discuss the factors that may contribute to the number of DUI-related accidents. We will also offer some tips on how you can avoid getting a DUI.

Binge Drinking

According to CDC research, one in six adults binge drinks and a fourth of those people do so weekly. However, the number of people who binge drink increases around the holidays, which contributes to the number of holiday DUI accidents.

During the holidays, many people engage in binge drinking at festivities. Binge drinking involves consuming a lot of alcoholic beverages within a short period. Specifically, binge drinking is having five or more drinks for men or four or more drinks for women within a two-hour period.

Holiday-Related Depression & Stress

The holiday season can be emotional, and many people may drink to help them cope with depression, anxiety, or stress. With emotional turmoil pushing some people to drink, more drivers may be at risk for drinking and driving.

More Parties & Occasions with Alcoholic Drinks

Another reason more DUIs may occur is that there are more occasions when people have the chance to drink alcoholic beverages. From work parties to Friendsgivings to holiday brunches and dinner parties, many people may overindulge before getting on the road to travel.

Tips for Avoiding a DUI This Holiday Season

Here are seven tips concerning how you can avoid being charged with a DUI during the holidays.

  1. Sleeping it off in your car is not an option. You can still be charged with a DUI if you pull over to sleep it off or even just try to sleep it off in a parking lot. You do not have to be physically controlling the vehicle to face potential charges. Consider asking to stay over and sleep it off at a friend’s house instead of your car.
  2. Utilize ridesharing apps or a designated driver (DD). If you plan to drink alcoholic beverages, you should also plan to use an Uber or Lyft ride to get home or even ask a friend to act as a DD.
  3. Eat food and drink a lot of water before drinking. Consuming alcoholic beverages on an empty stomach can worsen the effects of the alcohol; be sure to eat and hydrate consistently. It is important to note that coffee does not sober people up. While coffee can help energize you and counteract the subduing effects of alcohol, it does not impact your blood alcohol content.
  4. Consider drinking non-alcoholic beverages. If you plan to drive, consider capping the number of alcoholic beverages you consume and switching to non-alcoholic drinks.
  5. Drive defensively. Defensive driving involves anticipating and avoiding driving and roadway hazards, such as other drivers, debris, etc., to ensure your safety while on the road. If you notice other vehicles swerving or acting out of control, keep your distance and avoid overcorrecting or driving recklessly in response to other drivers and/or roadway conditions.
  6. Avoid mixing alcohol and medication. If you are taking prescribed medication (or any medication at all), you should avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, because the mix of those items can affect you more than you realize.
  7. Don’t drive if you are impaired. While this advice may seem straightforward, it does bear saying. If you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, don’t get behind the wheel. Be honest with yourself concerning how you feel and whether you should drive.

High-Quality & Aggressive Legal Representation

At Balbo & Gregg, Attorneys at Law, PC, our attorneys are equipped to help drunk driving accident victims pursue legal action. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a DUI accident, you do have the right to pursue compensation in civil court for your damages. Our personal injury attorneys are here and equipped to help you calculate your damages and understand your legal options.

At our firm, we also practice criminal defense law. If you or a loved one have been charged with a DUI or related offense, our attorneys can help you build a solid case and protect your legal rights.

Whether you need help with a criminal defense or a personal injury matter, our skilled attorneys are prepared to help you. Call (866) 580-3089 or reach out online to schedule an initial consultation today.