The holiday season is just around the corner and a sense of festivity is in the air. It is the time of the year for gifts, parties, winter snows, hearty dinners and celebrations all around. It is also the time when most of us have a lot of time on your hands – having more than a few holidays to spend. And, as a Greenville, SC DUI lawyer will tell you, this naturally turns up the volume of traffic on the roads. Add holiday drinking to that, and you have a lot more drunk drivers on the road than is usually the case the rest of the year.
It is no wonder then that there is a sharp increase in the number of DUI arrests and DUI accidents during the holiday season. Between Thanksgiving Day and the New Year’s Eve, the average alcohol consumption of most Americans doubles. This is coupled with more cars on the road, a more changeable weather and the rush to reach social events. All of this contributes to an increase in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, arrests and fatalities.
The rate of DUI crashes and fatalities increases even more from Christmas Eve to the New Year’s. During this one week, DUI crashes account for nearly 40% all traffic fatalities, the highest throughout the year.
Following is a look at some key DUI statistics for the season.
Holiday Drinking and DUI Statistics
- Thanksgiving holiday period is one of the deadliest days of the year for DUI crashes. Between 2013 and 2017, nearly 800 people lost their lives in DUI crashes caused during this period.
- During the month of December, 2016 alone, 781 people lost their lives in drunk-driving crashes. This is 25% of all traffic fatalities caused in this period.
- From Christmas Day to New Year’s Eve, nearly 300 people die in drunk-driving crashes every year on average.
- From 2012 and 2016, nearly 4,000 people died in DUI car crashes during the month of December alone. This accounted for 28% of all traffic fatalities in this period.
Holiday Safety Tips
With the expected increase in drunk driving during the holiday, law enforcement agencies also gear up for DUI checkpoints and arrests. As the holidays draw nearer, you can expect more traffic stops and inspections by the police officers. This is typically done to prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.
With the increase in the number of drink drivers on the road, it is also important for you to take the right precautions. Here are some useful safety tips for holiday season driving:
- Do not drink and drive. Despite the statistics cited above, a large number of Americans still consume above-average alcohol during the holiday season. And while that is okay, driving after consuming alcohol is not. So do not drink and drive. Make alternative arrangements, plan your drinking or have a sober person by your side to drive you home.
- Watch out for drunk drivers. During the holiday season, roads are a lot more dangerous with a higher instance of DUI crashes and fatalities. Being sober yourself is half the solution – the other half is to stay safe from other drunk drivers. If you see an overspeeding or erratic driver, steer clear of that vehicle. Also report the behavior to the police so that the dangerous driver may not harm someone else either.
- Hire a cab or a rental van. This is useful when you are going to a party with friends or family and expect to drink. Make sure the cab or van driver is sober. This way, you don’t have to worry about driving on your way back.
- Travel in the early hours. If you are going to make a long trip during the holiday season, choose a time when the traffic volume is low. During holidays, this is typically as early as 4 a.m. Traveling at such an early hour will save you from the hazard of drunk drivers and help you reach your destination sooner.
Hiring a Greenville, SC Dui Attorney
Sometimes, despite all your best efforts, you may end up drinking and driving. If a police officer stops you when this happens, a DUI citation is very likely. However, being a one-off incident, you deserve minimum penalties if your DUI driving has not hurt anyone. This is where The Bateman Firm can help you.
Our Greenville, SC DUI lawyers have many years of experience in handling DUI cases. We can help you prepare a strong defense against the charges and seek minimum penalties. If there’s a lack of evidence, we may even help you seek no charges. Contact us today to book a FREE consultation and discuss your case with our attorneys.