The holidays bring a number of loved and time honored traditions out of the closet, white elephant gift exchanges, eggnog, ugly sweater parties and christmas carols. And along with these well loved traditions comes the lifelong friend of get togethers and parties, alcohol. Sadly, during the holiday season, letting loose can sometimes go too far. During the time between Thanksgiving and New Years, the amount of DWIs and DUIs spikes up almost as hard as the party punch bowl. Many people are unaware of this significant increase in alcohol related accidents during this time. For instance, you may have heard of Black Friday, but have you ever heard of its deadly cousin, Blackout Wednesday? Blackout Wednesday is the day before Thanksgiving and considered to be the biggest drinking day of the year. You can find out more about DWI statistics during the holidays, tips to avoid becoming a statistic, and when to contact a DWI attorney if you do make do get caught drinking and driving.
Holiday DWI Statistics
Thanksgiving – According to this article, over 40% of traffic deaths are alcohol related and account for almost 400 deaths.
Christmas Holiday – Accounts for 37% of traffic deaths.
New Year’s Holiday – This holiday accounts for the most highway traffic deaths, with 58%.
If these numbers don’t shock you, consider that during the rest of year (not including the above holidays), alcohol related traffic deaths are lower than the time around Christmas at only 31%. With over 1,200 people killed and 25,000 people injured between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, due to alcohol related driving accidents, drinking and driving takes its toll on many families during this time. These devastating statistics should not be taken lightly. Even though drinking may be the way you let loose at family functions or even cope through this time of year, having a plan for sober driving is not only important for your safety, but for all roadway users.
Holiday Drinking Facts
- 40% of people say that their friends and family use the holidays as an excuse to consume alcohol.
- 57% of people have seen people who are driving under the influence of alcohol.
- 60% believe that drinking makes the holidays and the parties that go along with them, seem more fun.
- 96% of people were or knew someone that was hungover the next day at work after a holiday party.
With over 96% of people dealing with hangovers the next day, it seems flippant to suggest that hosts not serve alcohol or that guests who usually enjoy drinking during this holiday season – don’t. Hopefully the goal isn’t to get blackout drunk, but having a couple drinks to let loose during the holiday season is reasonable. But how can you avoid the deadly statistics? Many articles across the internet suggest having a plan.
How To Avoid Becoming A DWI Statistic This Holiday Season
Failing to plan is planning to fail, usually associated with good ol’ Benjamin Franklin, this old adage is true for many of life’s situations, including driving during the holidays. Having a plan to have a sober driver or to stay put is crucial to being safe and welcoming the new year.
If Your The Host
As the host of the party, you can legally be held responsible (at least in part) if your guests are caught drinking and driving. Here are some ways to keep your guests safe:
- Offer non alcoholic beverages – even if your house is known for being a “booze fest” during the holidays, it doesn’t hurt to tone it down by offering non alcoholic drinks to your guests as well as a few alcoholic drinks.
- Serve food or make it a potluck. It’s a fact that the more you fill their bellies with food, the less they can drink.
If you’re the guest:
- Designate a Designated Driver (DD). One of the easiest ways to avoid DWIs. If this option isn’t or becomes unavailable to you, you still have other options.
- Download the Lyft or Uber app to your phone or have taxicab numbers on hand before you head out.
- Make arrangements to stay the night.
The holidays are a time to eat, drink, and be merry and while this old phrase was meant to mean live life to the fullest because life is short, there is no reason to cut your life short this holiday season by drinking and driving.
Stay Safe and Happy Holidays.