Drunk Driving During the Holidays

Posted by Fred Koberlein, Sr. | Dec 14, 2018 | 0 Comments

Holiday DUI
Holiday Drinking and Driving

What is the Most Dangerous Holiday for Drunk Driving?

How would you answer this question? Do you think New Year's Eve is the worst holiday for DUI accidents? You may believe July Fourth has more incidents of drunk driving or maybe it is Thanksgiving Day. Some holidays do have a greater number of incidents of drunk driving than other holidays. However, drunk driving increases during all holidays because people like to celebrate with alcohol during the holidays and some people celebrate to excess before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol-impaired driving accidents resulted in 10,265 fatalities in one year. This total accounted for 29 percent of all traffic-related deaths that year. Between 2014 and 2015, alcohol-related crashes increased by 3.2 percent. Florida had the third highest rate of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities for 2015. 

So, What is the Worst Holiday for Drunk Driving?

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day

It depends on the source you consult, but most sources list July Fourth and Thanksgiving to be the most dangerous holidays for drunk driving. However, according to one source, New Year's Day is the most dangerous holiday for drunk driving. It is estimated that alcohol is a factor in 48 percent of the highway deaths on New Year's Eve.

Driving statistics from Safe Auto show that January 1st had the highest percentage of alcohol-related traffic fatalities compared to other holidays. According to Scram Systems, DUI violations increase by 106 percent on New Year's Eve.

How do the other holidays stack up?

Blackout Wednesday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas

The day before Thanksgiving Day, known as Blackout Wednesday, is the beginning of the winter holiday drinking season. Thanksgiving Season is one of the biggest drinking seasons of the year. In some locations, Blackout Wednesday is a bigger drinking day than New Year's Eve and St. Patrick's Day, especially for college students and in larger urban areas.

It is estimated that your risk of dying in an alcohol-related traffic crash between Thanksgiving and New Year's increases by two to three times compared to other times during the year. During this six-week period, it is estimated that 1,200 people die and 25,000 people are injured in drunk driving accidents.

July Fourth

Some sources cite Independence Day as the most dangerous day to be on the road. The IIHS compared the number of traffic-related deaths and concluded that July 4th had the largest number of deaths compared to any other day of the year. The National Safety Council (NSC) also places Independence Day as the deadliest holiday for traffic-related accidents.

Other Deadly Holidays

There are many holidays throughout the year that increase the number of DUI incidents on our roads. Any of these holidays can increase your risk of being injured in a DUI accident. Holidays and events that may increase drunk driving incidents include:

  • Memorial Day
  • Labor Day
  • Halloween
  • Cinco de Mayo
  • Patrick's Day
  • Super Bowl

Tips for Avoiding DUI Accidents During the Holidays

If you don't have to be on the road on a holiday, stay at home. When driving during the holidays, avoid distractions and stay alert at all times to look for drunk drivers. Increase your distance between your vehicle and any other vehicle that appears to be swerving, braking erratically, or showing any other signs of impaired driving. You should also use extra caution at intersections where drunk drivers may fail to yield the right of way.

If you and your friends or family are celebrating with alcohol, be smart. Before going out, designate a driver to remain sober, make arrangements for other transportation, or decide to take public transportation back home. It is up to you to ensure that your holiday celebrating does not turn into a DUI accident. The last thing you want to see is a law enforcement officer flashing his blue lights at you.

Call Our DUI Attorneys

If you need a DUI attorney in the Lake City, Live Oak, or Gainesville areas, we are here to help. We represent individuals who have been injured in DUI accidents as well as individuals who are facing DUI charges. Our experienced attorneys understand Florida law as it applies to DUI stops and DUI arrests. Don't go before a judge or discuss your case with a prosecutor by yourself.

Contact the Koberlein Law Offices by calling our Lake City office at 386-269-9802 or our Gainesville office at 352-519-4357 to schedule a free consultation. You may also contact our office by using the contact form on our website.

About the Author

Fred Koberlein, Sr.

Fred Koberlein, Sr. has experience well beyond the majority of attorneys, for your case. As a retired judge, practicing attorney, former Naval aviator (both pilot and instructor), he pledges to use his education, experience, and love for helping others to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.


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