Data collected by Scram Systems found that drinking, driving drunk, injuries and fatalities related to drunken driving all increase during the winter holidays. Their data tends to confirm the popular portrayal of the holidays as a drunken and messy part of the year. This post will go over the numbers and what it means for you.
They found that the holiday drinking season is kicked off by Thanksgiving, which notes a 35 percent jump in alcohol consumption. That trend continues throughout the winter holiday season as drinking rates tend to stay about 40 percent above normal. They also found that drinking rates jump by 41 percent on Christmas and 58 percent on New Years.
In addition to increased drinking rates, Americans are more likely to take road trips for the holidays. In fact, 42 million Americans travel for Thanksgiving. A further 91 million travel between December 23 and January 2 for Christmas and New Years. Unfortunately, holiday-goers do not conform to the designated driver rule. A study found that one in either driver report driving after consuming enough alcohol to put them above 0.08 BAC or very close to the limit.
These figures combine into a jump in DWI offender violations. Over Thanksgiving, the study found a 31 percent jump in offense, a 48 percent jump for Christmas and a whopping 106 percent increase over New Years. These increased numbers for drinking and driving equates to a two to three times rise in the number of people killed by drunken drivers. A further 25,000 people are injured in DUI-related car accidents.
If you are charged with a crime, do not expect the courts or police to go easy on you. As these numbers demonstrate, the holidays are a dangerous time for drivers. It is possible that police and judges may be inordinately strict to "teach you a lesson." You don't need to face the judicial system on your own; you can seek help from a defense attorney. A lawyer can ensure that you are treated fairly.