December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

December 16th, 2015 at 7:00 am

impaired driving prevention, Westport Wrongful Death Attorney, holiday drinkingThe month of December is known for holiday festivities. Families, friends, and even workplace parties fill up many of our weekends. With that in mind, the President has once again declared December as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. The annual designation began in 1981.

Despite the great strides that have been made in educating the public about drunk or drugged driving, the statistics reveal that it is still an epidemic. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), three out of every 10 people in this country will be involved in an alcohol-related crash during their lives. Tragically, approximately 11,000 of those people will be killed in those accidents.

The number of alcohol-rated fatal crashes almost doubles on weekends, compared to during the week. During the week, approximately 15 percent of all fatal car wrecks involve alcohol; however, on the weekends, that number spikes to 30 percent.

During this time of the year, December 22, December 23, December 24, and January 1 are the deadliest days for alcohol-related fatalities. During the summer months, July 3, July 4, August 3, August 4, September 1, and September 2 are the deadliest days.

The number of drivers involved in fatal crashes and who are found to be under the influence of drugs has also increased. These numbers include drivers under the influence of both illegal and prescription narcotics. Almost 20 percent of fatal crashes on weekend nights involved a drugged driver. The most common drugs were marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

The NHTSA offers crucial tips for people to follow if they have been celebrating the holidays, including:

  • If you have been drinking, or under the influence of any legal or illegal drug, never get behind the wheel of your vehicle;
  • If you are under the influence, take a taxi or Uber, call a family member or friend (who has not been drinking) to pick you up, or—if available—use mass transit; or
  • If you cannot get a ride, then stay where you are for the night. Sleep until you are sober.

For people who are hosting holiday events, make sure that your guests have a plan if they are going to be drinking, such as a designated driver. If someone has been drinking, do not let him or her leave your home. Take their keys away if you have to.

If you have lost a loved one in a drunk driving accident, please contact an experienced Westport wrongful death attorney to see what kind of legal recourse you may have against the driver responsible for your family’s pain and loss.

Sources:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/12/01/presidential-proclamation-national-impaired-driving-prevention-month

http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=2043&issue_id=32010

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