The Added Dangers of Holiday Drinking and DrivingJacksonville Accident News
We all like to have a drink every now and again. Alcohol allows us to let loose and let go of inhibitions that usually hold us back. Hanging out with friends can be a potentially harmless and fun way to celebrate any holiday. Sometimes, our friends can be closer to us than our own blooded family members.
Unfortunately, around 30 deaths each day are caused by drunk driving. That’s about one every 52 minutes, 10,142 in a year. In 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, reported its lowest percentage since it began to report the alcohol effects on traffic, but the number was still staggering. With the Easter holiday quickly approaching, our committed team of car accident attorneys at Sheftall Law would like to remind everyone that drinking and driving is never an option.
Drinking and Driving is Increased Over the Holidays
With more days off work and an increased number of parties, the number of car accidents involving drunk drivers skyrockets versus any other day of the year. Getting together with loved ones is a wonderful feeling, but these gatherings don’t always end well especially if somebody decides to get behind the wheel after drinking. The holidays can, unfortunately, have the tendency to darken the spirits of some people causing them to seek comfort in the bottom of a bottle. Males are also 4 times more likely to be involved in a drunk driving accident than females.
How Does Alcohol Affect Driving?
Alcohol has negative effects on your brain, lowering your ability to make reasonable decisions and impairing your reaction time. However, even the smallest amount of alcohol can have a catastrophic impact on an innocent person’s life. A 12 oz beer has the same alcohol content as 9 oz of malt liquor, 5 oz of wine, and 1.5 oz of distilled spirits like vodka or whiskey. If a person’s Blood Alcohol Concentration, or BAC, reaches over a level of .08 as tested by blood or breathalyzer, they are legally drunk. Anybody caught driving with a BAC over .08 can have a serious impact on their driving record and even their ability to have a license.
Who Can be Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident?
Anyone can be injured in a car accident, but children are more likely to be injured in cars with intoxicated drivers. It was reported in 2018 that 22% of the children killed in motor vehicle accidents were victims of drunk drivers. In half of those accidents, the child was riding with the drunk driver.
It is a largely believed myth that motorcyclists are not as at fault as motorists for their accidents as drivers of passenger vehicles. In 2018, however, it was reported that 4,675 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents. 26% of those motorcyclists were riding while under the influence of alcohol, and 53% of the drunk riders that were killed in 2018 were 40 years of age or older.
This Time Might Not be the First Time
Alcohol is as addictive as any drug and it can eventually take over their lives. A person can become dependent on alcohol to the point that they can’t live without it. If this is the case, your accident may not be an alcoholic’s first drunk driving incident, and it probably won’t be their last.
Charges that can come as a result of drunk driving can include hefty fines of at least $10,000,, jail time, and license revocation. This may not stop someone who is dependent on alcohol for their daily life. Many people drive without their license or impaired daily. This is extremely dangerous and can be fatal to anyone riding with anyone who has been drinking or traveling along the roads at the same time they are.
While the loss of human life is devastating, the financial impact is almost as staggering. $44 billion dollars is spent by the United States annually as a result of drunk drivers.
Drunk Driving Has No Age Limit
All across the United States, there is a minimum drinking age of 21. Unfortunately, age limits don’t always stop everyone from drinking and driving. 24% of 15-20-year-old drivers who were involved in a fatal car accident in 2018 were reported to have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.
Ways to Avoid a Drunk Driving Accident
There are several great ways to enjoy the holidays with friends and family without the night having a tragic end. It has been reported by the NHTSA that minimum drinking laws have saved 31,959 lives between 1975 and 2017. Some of the other safety precautions one can take while out at a party can include:
- Having a designated driver
- Avoiding drinking altogether
- Staying the night at the location of the party
The host of any holiday party should ensure that rules are put in place for those who wish to drink. Never hand a set of keys to anybody who is visibly intoxicated and wishes to leave. If necessary, calling a taxi for any impaired person without a designated driver is the next best thing and will guarantee that everyone gets home safely.
Talking With a Car Accident Attorney in Florida
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed in a car accident in Florida that was caused by a drunk driver, you may have the right to demand compensation. People who cause an accident by failing to follow the law and drive under the influence of alcohol can be held liable for their actions. Our dedicated car wreck lawyers at Sheftall Law are here to answer any questions you may have about your accident and will help you determine if you have a claim. With decades of combined experience, you can be confident in our team’s ability to advocate for your needs and rights, and we will ensure that you get the maximum compensation that you deserve. Call us today at (904)-638-7712 for a free consultation with one of our compassionate car accident attorneys and explore the legal options that are available to you.