Drinking And Driving During The Holidays
It’s a deadly blend: alcohol and the control of a motorized vehicle. And that combination rises during the time of year that families are most focused on joy and comradery—during the winter holidays. While typically alcohol related fatalities account for about one in four deaths on the road, during the holidays that number increases to one in three. In Maryland, over 20,000 DUI arrests occur annually—and the holidays account for a significant portion of those arrests.
Why the Spike?
The combination of increased drinking, treacherous weather conditions, and poor visibility, along with higher numbers of cars on the road, is a possible explanation for the increase in highway fatalities during the holidays. On top of those issues, many drivers are feeling more stressed and less patient with other drivers out there. It seems everyone has somewhere to be, one last errand to run, and ten more expectations during this busy time of year.
Make the Road Safer
What can be done to improve the safety of holiday travel? For starters, it’s important to recognize that just one drink can be enough to impair one’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Some simple steps that responsible gatherers can adhere to include:
- Arrange for a safe way to get home before you even leave the house: that could mean having a designated driver, planning to stay over at your destination, or planning on a ride share or taxi;
- Give yourself more than enough time to arrive at your destination so you don’t lose patience or resort to speeding or other dangerous behaviors;
- Try to minimize the amount of driving you have to do during peak hours;
- If a friend drinks too much, don’t let them get behind the wheel;
- Remember that law enforcement is out in greater numbers than ever during the holidays, and you can save yourself a stay in the county jail and all the associated encumberments of a DUI by
- Choosing NOT to drink and drive.
First time offenders of DUI will be spending some time in jail, on top of being slapped with major fines, suspension of driver’s license, and a mandatory placement of an interlock ignition device. That’s for a simple DUI that doesn’t involve an accident, let alone injuries or fatalities.
With the myriad options to get around safely, there is simply no good reason to get behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle after drinking. Nonetheless, people choose to recklessly drink and drive all the time. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a drunk driver’s careless driving, you may be entitled to compensation to address the property damage, medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages, and more. The caring, yet aggressive La Plata & Waldorf car accident attorneys at The Law Office of Hammad S. Matin, P.A. are prepared to follow through with a thorough investigation of the accident and will work diligently to get you the money you deserve. Schedule a confidential consultation today to discuss the possibilities.