Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is one of the most pervasive and dangerous crimes we see on the road. According to the Centers for Disease Control, crashes caused by drunk drivers account for nearly one third of all traffic fatalities in the United States as of 2015.1 During the holidays, police officers at sobriety checkpoints have to work overtime to ensure holiday revelers aren’t being careless. How can drivers avoid a life-changing conviction for DUI while also enjoying their holiday season?

What’s So Special About the Holidays?

During the holiday season, it often feels like there’s a dinner party, cocktail hour or get-together every weekend serving up boozy punches, beers, wine and champagne. Many party guests let the evening get away from them and drive home while under the influence. The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports a 40 percent uptick in traffic fatalities in crashes involving drunk drivers around the holidays.2 The sheer amount of available alcohol and the number of “special occasion” drinkers both contribute to this rise in dangerous behavior.

Avoiding Drunk Driving During the Holidays

Holiday parties are a great way to celebrate the year’s end and enjoy time with family and friends. However, many people fail to realize just how little alcohol they need to drink to become a danger on the road. To avoid drinking and driving after a holiday shindig, remember to enter every party with a plan. Set a drink limit and stick to it, even if you’re being goaded by other guests. As a rule of thumb, nurse one drink for an hour before rehydrating with water or eating some food. Every person has a different alcohol tolerance, however. Be realistic about how much liquor you can handle. If you only ever drink on special occasions, it will probably take less alcohol to get you buzzed. Make sure you can contact someone for a sober ride home, call a cab or use a rideshare app at the end of the night.

Hosting a Safe Holiday Get-Together

It’s easier to avoid getting wrapped up in drunk driving when you only need to worry about yourself, but if you host a party where alcohol is served, you’ll need to keep an eye on all your guests to keep them safe. Stay sober and monitor your guests’ drinks. If you notice some people are indulging more than others, you may need to accommodate them for the night or play designated driver. As guests enter your home or venue, it’s also wise to check their car keys at the door to avoid any intoxicated guests sneaking out unnoticed. Offer plenty of water, non-alcoholic beverages and food to reduce the effects of alcohol consumption. Keep numerous cab numbers on hand and encourage their use for tipsy party guests.

Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Law in New Orleans, LA

With so many people out on the roads this holiday season, defensive driving can prove invaluable. Unfortunately, this may not stop all drivers from endangering others. If you find yourself injured during a vehicle collision involving an intoxicated driver, there may be legal options available to get you compensation for your pain, suffering and property damage. Burgos & Associates Attorneys at Law specializes in personal injury cases ranging from vehicle crashes to wrongful death. Contact our dedicated legal advocates today at (504) 488-3722 to schedule a free consultation.

1 https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812231

2 http://www.philly.com/philly/health/HealthDay659560_20111214_Drunk_Driving-Related_Deaths_Surge_During_the_Holidays.html