We're coming up on the most joyous time of year for many people. Unfortunately, this holiday period also includes some of the most deadly days of the year on our nation's roads. This is due to a combination of more people on the road and increased drinking.
Law enforcement officers are out in force looking for drunk drivers during this period. DUI arrests are at their highest from the night before Thanksgiving (ominously nicknamed "Black Wednesday") through New Year's (and a day or two beyond if it falls on a weekend). Sadly, DUI-related fatalities jump by a third between Christmas and New Year's
The long Thanksgiving weekend is actually the busiest holiday period on our roads. That begins with, as we noted, Black Wednesday. It's a night when people often take off early from work and meet up with friends in town for the holidays at their favorite watering hole before spending the next day with family. It's a popular night with bars, but a dangerous one for drivers and pedestrians.
New Year's Day may be the most dangerous day of the year on the roads. It starts just after midnight when people start to head home from their parties, likely after a drink or two. The later in the early morning hours they stay out, the more likely they are to have consumed. New Year's isn't just dangerous for drivers. One report published in Injury Prevention noted that more pedestrians die on New Year's Day than any other day of the year.
The best, safest way to enjoy the holidays is to not worry about driving. With Uber and other ride-sharing services, there's no reason not to leave your car at home (or at the bar, if you drank more than you should have). Aside from making the holidays safer, you'll avoid the repercussions of a DUI arrest that can ruin your holiday season. If you do find yourself under arrest for a DUI, it's essential to take the charges seriously. An experienced criminal defense attorney can provide guidance.
Source: BACTrack, "The Most Dangerous Times on the Road," accessed Nov. 17, 2016