Do you need a little Christmas? Right this very minute? Whether you need it or not, the holidays are quite literally everywhere right now. Whether you love it, hate it, or fall somewhere in between, holiday cheer abounds on menus, on commercials, in stores, and, of course, on radio stations. Thanksgiving officially kicks off the holiday season, and from then until New Year’s Day, statistics show a notable increase in the number of drunk driving accidents. It appears that many people’s cheer ignores the very real risks associated with driving while intoxicated.
Talk about a kick-off: Between college students being out of school and most businesses being closed the following day, “Blackout Wednesday” (the day before Thanksgiving) is one of the deadliest days of the year. Alcohol-related road accidents account for more than 400 deaths Thanksgiving weekend, including Blackout Wednesday and Black Friday.
Another sobering statistic shows a 33% increase in the number of DUI-related traffic stops on Christmas Eve, likely attributed to holiday parties. While Christmas Day doesn’t seem to result in more drinking and driving, New Year’s Eve sees more than its fair share of drinking and driving accidents, figuring a whopping 42% of wrecks on that day can be attributed to drinking. In 2015, the total estimate for alcohol-related deaths over the approximately six-week holiday season was 1,200.
The legal limit for driving is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08, but there isn’t really a set number of drinks to which that translates. Some people can have a few glasses of wine and not exceed the legal limit, others cannot. The amount of alcohol it takes to become intoxicated depends on factors such as your weight, gender, how much food is in your stomach, and how fast you drink. The safest choice is obviously to simply not drive after you’ve had anything to drink.
Maybe people who don’t normally drink feel inclined to indulge in one or two with co-workers or family; maybe college students are feeling extra “festive” around the holidays. Whatever the reason, there’s no excuse for getting behind the wheel. Because of that fact, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the “Tie One On For Safety” program. This is their longest running project centered around public awareness, and every holiday season, MADD asks everyone to clearly display a MADD red ribbon to remind others to designate a non-drinking driver.
In addition to the red ribbon reminder, MADD has the following suggestions for how you can show your commitment to the cause:
- Select a non-drinking driver before the party starts to help ensure everyone gets home safely.
- If you host a party, offer mocktails and other virgin beverages, and provide alternate transportation for guests who choose to drink alcohol anyway.
- Spread word of the campaign on social media.
Take an active role in drunk driving safety this holiday season. If you have any questions about this topic, or if you have been injured in an accident caused by a motorist who was driving while intoxicated, contact experienced Louisiana DWI accident attorney Chris Roy Jr, founder of the Chris J. Roy, Jr. Law Firm. Having practiced law for nearly 30 years, he takes pride in helping accident victims in Alexandria, Pineville, Rapides Parish, Grant Parish, Avoyelles Parish, Allen Parish, Vernon Parish, and throughout Central Louisiana. Benefit from his assistance and knowledge by contacting the firm for a free initial consultation. Call 1-318-487-9537 to get help today.