When the leaves turn orange and red then begin to fall off the trees, we have officially entered the holiday season. While the holidays are a time for us to celebrate, visit with our loved ones, and relax, they can also mean things like excessive drinking and adverse weather conditions that make roads slippery. This understandably leads to an increase in the number of car accidents of various types, including those caused by drunk drivers.
Data shows that 37% of all deadly crashes that occur during the holidays are the result of drunk drivers. In total, drunk drivers were responsible for over 6,000 fatalities during each holiday season between 2010 to 2018. New York state in particular saw 295 drunk driving crashes in 2017. Even though New York state ranks relatively low in comparison to the rest of the states in the country in regards to the number of drunk driving crashes that occur there, the state still sees a large number of drunk driving fatalities each year.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a drunk driver, the attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP will fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve so that you can cover the costs you have faced after the crash. While we urge motorists to do everything possible to avoid ending up in a drunk driving accident, it is impossible to eliminate the risk completely. If you have been injured in a drunk crash this holiday season, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
What Constitutes Drunk Driving?
New York state defines drunk driving as driving that occurs when a person has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. If the police pull you over and determine that you have a blood alcohol content of at least .08%, you will be automatically charged with driving under the influence. You can also be charged with driving under the influence, however, if you have a blood alcohol content below the limit, but a police officer still believes that you are operating your vehicle in an unsafe manner.
Without taking a breathalyzer test, it can be difficult to determine whether or not you have reached the legal blood alcohol content limit. A person’s level of intoxication can vary based on countless factors including the alcohol percentage in each drink, how quickly you consumed the alcohol, whether you consumed food or non-alcohol drinks along with the alcohol beverage, your age, your weight, and your sex.
Given how nuanced it can be to assess blood alcohol content, people often question whether or not it is safe to operate a motor vehicle after having just a few drinks. In reality, any amount of alcohol that you can consume can impair your ability to safely operate a vehicle and you can still end up in an accident because you drank alcohol even if your blood alcohol content is still below the legal limit. The best answer is to simply not operate a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol, particularly when there are other options available, including rideshare programs like Uber.
The Danger of Thanksgiving Drunk Driving Crashes
A motorist’s chances of ending up in a deadly drunk driving accident on Thanksgiving is 77% higher than on any other day of the year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that from 2013 to 2017, over 800 people were killed in drunk driving crashes during Thanksgiving.
One factor that makes Thanksgiving such a dangerous time for drivers is the length of the holiday. Thanksgiving always falls on the last Thursday in November. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving has gained the nickname “blackout Wednesday” due to the large number of people who engage in binge drinking on this day before spending time with their family. Because the holiday falls on a Thursday, people often remain in town until the end of the week before driving home, which results in more motorists on the road and subsequently a greater number of car crashes.
What You Should Know About Christmas Drunk Driving Crashes
Of the three big holidays that occur over the fall and winter, Christmas sees the smallest number of drunk driving crashes. This does not mean, however, that drunk driving does not present a danger on Christmas. The number of drunk driving accident fatalities begins to increase substantially at Christmas and continues until New Years. Data reveals that drunk drivers represent 40% of all deadly car crashes between Christmas and New Years. This number of drunk driving crashes is likely because most people are off school and work from this time and attending holiday parties involving alcohol.
Recognizing the Danger of New Years’ Drunk Driving Accidents
The odds of a person ending up in a deadly drunk driving accident is notably 129% higher on New Year’s Day than on any other day of the year. The National Safety Council’s predictions suggest that as many as 384 individuals could be killed in drunk driving accidents that occur between December 31st to January 3rd.
Data also reveals that the average individual in the United States over the age of 21 will have approximately 4.4 drinks on New Years’ Eve. Binge drinking involves consuming more than four or five drinks in two hours. 47% of men, while 40% of women will binge drink on New Year’s. This is a higher number of binge drinkers than any other holiday, which subsequently means a much higher number of intoxicated motorists on the road.
Speak With an Experienced Attorney at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP
Nothing can put a negative tint on the holiday season like ending up in a car crash. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car crash due to a drunk driver, however, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP, we understand the dangers of drunk driving and remain committed to fighting for the results that accident victims deserve. Contact our law office today to schedule a free case evaluation.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information and may not be applicable in your jurisdiction.