Tis the Season…Minimize Your Time on the Road and if Necessary, Take a Cab!

St. Mary's Home for Disabled ChildrenEach winter, drunk driving tragedies interrupt what’s usually the most wonderful time of the year. In December 2012, nearly 900 Americans lost their lives in accidents caused by drunk drivers. Between office holiday parties, family celebrations, and the big New Years Eve festivities, there’s something fun and exciting going on practically every night of December. Unfortunately, this typically means more drunk or buzzed drivers taking risks on the road.

Drunk driving is truly an American epidemic. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration found that of the 33,561 accident related deaths in 2012, as many as 10,322 of those involved a drunk driver.  Sadly, teens are the most likely to drive under the influence, even though they’re legally too young to drink. They accounted for the largest percentage – 28% – of drivers killed in drunk driving accidents in 2012.

Knowing these peak times for DUI’s and accidents should suggest to you those time periods when it would be prudent to stay off the road to avoid other people who are driving under the influence. Many of our clients have been the victims of drunk drivers, and the injuries and suffering caused by these wrecks is almost always catastrophic.

You should also know your limits and be prudent when you consider whether to drive after drinking. Besides potentially endangering your life and the lives of others, DUIs are expensive and time consuming. The average DUI charge costs the driver around $10,000. This is in addition to potentially facing jail time, losing your license, higher insurance rates, attorney fees and lost wages from time off for court appearances. Court costs and car repairs, too, can drain your wallet. Even the most expensive cab ride home can’t compare to the long term costs of a DUI.

One popular misconception among drivers is that it’s okay to drive buzzed, or after just one drink. While you might feel that you know your own limits, the reality is that the legal limit is lower than you might think. It is illegal nationwide to drive with more than .08 blood alcohol concentration. Many people believe slowing your drinking or just having one or two servings will be enough to stay under that limit, but that is not always the case. Factors varying widely from person to person, including body weight, amount of food in your stomach, and alcohol content consumed. If you’ve been drinking at all, it’s best to simply not drive.

Of course, the winter holidays are a great excuse to eat, drink and be merry. If you’ve got plans to drink at holiday parties or other special events, consider taking a taxi home. Uber, Lyft and other car services are also great on-demand options. Of course, arranging for a designated driver can be the best option saving you time and money while making sure you arrive home safely.

This Holiday season, be prudent and protect yourself and others from the risks of being on the road with impaired drivers. If you have been injured by drunk driver, we are ready to help you recover.