The holidays consist of celebrating with loved ones, exchanging gifts, and being merry and jolly throughout the season. However, excessive alcohol consumption is also part of the festivities, which is why this time of year is always associated with fatal accidents involving drunk drivers and DUI arrests.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 885 people passed away in drunk driving accidents in December 2017. During the Christmas (December 22 through December 26, 2017) and New Year’ Day (December 30, 2016, through January 3, 2017) holiday periods two years ago, there were more traffic deaths caused by intoxicated motorists (267) compared to any other holiday period (e.g. Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, etc.) in 2017.
When it comes to drunk driving statistics spanning an entire year, approximately one-third of all fatal traffic collisions in the U.S. involve intoxicated motorists. In 2017 alone, 10,874 people died in drunk driving accidents, which is the equivalent of 20 jumbo jet crashes with no survivors.
That same year, one person died in a drunk driving accident every 48 minutes in this country. Men (21 percent) are more likely to be the intoxicated motorist in drunk driving collisions compared to women (14 percent).
As far as the cost of drunk driving is concerned, a DUI can potentially cost a person $10,000 in fines, court costs, attorney fees, car towing, increased insurance premiums, missed time from work, and more. As far as the overall financial impact of drunk driving collisions, they cost the U.S. $44 billion each year.
If you do plan on drinking during the holidays, the following are several steps to take to avoid drunk driving and a DUI:
- Have a friend or family member be your designated driver – If you know someone who doesn’t drink or won’t succumb to peer pressure at holiday events, ask him/her to be your designated driver.
- Catch a ride with Uber or Lyft – If you can’t find a designated driver, you can always request getting picked up from a rideshare driver. However, prices tend to increase around midnight until 3 AM. But the price for an Uber or Lyft ride home is significantly cheaper than a DUI.
- Find a place to spend the night – If the holiday event is far away from your home, either ask a friend or family member who lives nearby if you can sleepover or book a hotel or motel room that is close to the event.
- Hold the party at your place – To avoid getting on the road at all, host the event at your home. But make sure there is plenty of room for your guests to sleepover and driving arrangements were made ahead of time.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Salt Lake City, contact Lokken & Putnam, P.C. today at (801) 829-9783 to let our legal team protect your rights and future.