Holiday Drinking and Driving: A Deadly Mixture
Each day in the U.S., there are around 30 vehicle accidents caused by a drunk driver. More than 10,000 annual fatalities result from drunk driving accidents, and these numbers seem to be steadily on the rise. Though efforts to curb drunk driving through the 80s and 90s saw huge gains, the efforts to continue reducing the roadway dangers caused by alcohol have not been as successful as organizations such as MADD would like.
New technology does offer some hope. At this point, reducing drunk driving accidents further requires significant action that will impact repeat offenders who are unlikely to be influenced by traditional public safety campaigns and slogans. In many states, ignition interlock devices are being installed on the vehicles of repeat offenders. These devices require a driver to provide a breath sample and prevent the ignition from starting if it reads their breath at a level above the specified safe zone (which is typically between .02% and .04%). When ignition interlock devices are installed, they are associated with a 70% reduced arrest rate for drunk driving, no doubt resulting in a reduction in accident and in lives lost.
Security checkpoints during the holidays also play a role in keeping the public safe. Officers at security checkpoints target dangerous times and locations, especially during the holidays when increased traffic and regular alcohol-fueled parties are the norm. Such regular stops on busy roadways can help to slow the speed of traffic overall, but are largely focused on discouraging drunk driving.
Wagner Reese Wishes You a Safe Holiday Season
All of us at Wagner Reese hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday. To ensure your own safety, as well as that of others, keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Avoid drinking if you know you will be driving. No matter how little alcohol you feel you’ve had, play it safe. Do not get behind the wheel of a car.
- Designate a driver, book a hotel room, or get the number for a local cab company if you plan to drink.
- Drive defensively and be observant of the drivers around you. Drunk drivers often show signs of their impairment, including swerving or delayed reactions to conditions around them.
- Never follow a possibly impaired driver around, even if your intentions are good. Call the police and provide the information you have about the drunk driver, then get away from the potentially deadly situation.
If you or your loved ones are injured as the result of the poor decisions of a drunk driver this holiday season, the drunk driving accident attorneys at Wagner Reese can assist you in pursuing the compensation you deserve and may need for medical care and to cover a loss of wages while injured. There is no risk, as we never collect any kind of fee unless your case is settled or won. Contact us today at (888) 204-8440 for more information or to schedule a free consultation.