The holidays are a busy time. More parties, shopping, and travel can make roadways congested and chaotic. At times, winter weather makes trips even more challenging. Those factors coupled with alcohol can be a dangerous and often deadly combination. Every year, thousands of people are killed in drunk driving accidents, and the dangers increase around the holidays. To reduce impaired driving, government groups and safety advocates are participating in national campaigns to raise awareness about this problem.
National Impaired Driving Prevention Month
December has been designated National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Typically, driving under the influence (DUI) arrests and crashes both increase in December. During the 2013 holiday season, alcohol was a factor in 30 percent of fatal traffic accidents and accounted for 733 deaths.
The federal government and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are encouraging families, healthcare providers, schools, and local governments to promote smart driving decisions. The campaign aims to help keep impaired drivers off the road by offering these tips:
- Plan a safe way home, especially if alcohol may be a part of the night.
- Don’t let friends drive when they are impaired. Call a cab, an Uber, or a sober friend.
- Always use your seat belt, and call the police if you suspect another driver is impaired.
NHTSA Promotes Safe Driving Campaigns
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is also promoting two safety campaigns. First, they are reminding people that “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.” The NHTSA encourages people to avoid driving if they have consumed any alcohol at all. It is difficult for a person to gauge his own blood alcohol content (BAC). BAC can be affected by how quickly the drinks are consumed, weight, sex, and how much food is in the stomach. The safest choice is to drive only when completely sober.
Second, the NHTSA promotes the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. Law enforcement is prepared to identify drunk drivers on the road, especially during the holiday season. Some drivers believe they can refuse a breathalyzer test and avoid consequences, but that is not the case. Delaware has an “implied consent” law, which means if a person is pulled over by the police due to suspected drunk driving, he automatically consents to a chemical test. Failure to take the test could result in the loss of his driver’s license for one year or more.
Although these campaigns are meant to help reduce drunk driving, accidents still happen. If you or your loved one suffered injuries due to an impaired driver, contact us to discuss your case. The legal team at Morris James has represented many people whose lives have been affected by drunk drivers.