The Facts About Holiday Drunk Driving
The holiday season is one of the happiest of the year but it’s also often one of the most dangerous because of drunk driving. Alcohol consumption spikes over the holidays. Many people are celebrating; others are commiserating. Regardless of the reason, more time off work means more time for people to drink.
This seasonal increase in drinking translates to an increase in drunk drivers and, even though law enforcement’s efforts to stop drunk driving also go up, injuries and fatalities still occur as a result.
Holiday Drunk Driving Statistics
During the holiday season, people who drink much tend to drink a little more and people who consume alcohol regularly tend to drink a lot more. On top of that, the weather is often treacherous. All this combined can make the roads a dangerous place. Below are some drunk driving statistics from the 2018 holiday season, as provided by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
- During December 2018, a total of 839 people died in drunk driving accidents in the United States.
- 799 of those deaths occurred between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
- On Christmas Day 2018 alone, 35 people were killed by drunk drivers.
- Of the total roadway fatalities that occurred in Dec. 2018, around 50 percent of them involved alcohol.
- Around half of all men and 40 percent of all women say binge-drinking is part of their New Year’s Eve celebrations.
- 16 percent of adults say they drink more during the holidays than they usually would.
- 22 percent of people say they feel pressured to consume alcohol at holiday parties.
- The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) estimates that roughly 25,000 people will be injured and 1,200 people will be killed by drunk driving during the 2019 holiday season.
Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays
It’s easy for the holidays to become a little hectic, but these tips can help prevent things from getting out of hand:
- Mix your own drinks. That way, you can control exactly how much alcohol goes into each one.
- Avoid stressful situations. Some people are harder to be around than others, and getting frustrated can encourage more drinking. If someone or something is stressing you out, try to remove yourself from that situation.
- If you are in AA, try to attend a meeting right before holiday celebrations. Doing so will encourage you to stay strong, avoid drinking, and maintain your sobriety.
- Try drinking mocktails. Fake cocktails allow you to enjoy the social aspect of drinking without actually having to consume any alcohol.
- Have an accountability buddy. Attend parties with someone who also wants to avoid drinking too much, so you can encourage each other.
- Don’t mix alcohols. Doing so will only make you feel worse.
- Know yourself. Nobody is more familiar with how much you can drink safely than you are. Be aware of your limits and don’t overstep your own boundaries.
- Arrange for a designated driver, or be one yourself! There’s no better way to ensure your safe passage home than by making sure someone sober drives you.
- Call a cab if you don’t have a DD. Uber and Lyft are also excellent options for getting home safely.
Drink Responsibly This Holiday Season
There’s nothing wrong with celebrating this holiday season. After all, there are friends and family are in town, holiday parties to attend, and plenty of food, fun, and drinks to go around. But it’s important during the holidays, as it is throughout the year, to drink responsibly and never, under any circumstances, operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Doing so is dangerous, and can result in DWIs, loss of your license, injury, or even death.
If you’re stopped at a DWI checkpoint this holiday season, remember your rights. If you are accused of or charged with drinking and driving, get in touch with the North Carolina DWI lawyers at Mulligan Attorneys ASAP. Simply click here to schedule a free consultation or call us at 910-763-1100.