Once again, we are reminded that the holiday season is the perfect time to celebrate with friends and family, as long as we don’t overdo it. Make no mistake, drunk driving is a problem throughout the year, but the holiday season seems to bring out the best, worst and sometimes the most intoxicated choices from people, wreaking havoc on our roads and turning special family memories into tragedies.
Drunk driving increases over the holiday season for several reasons, including:
- Stress. Obviously, with family and friends gathering, food to prepare and eat, presents to buy and all the holiday things we do, stress is at a high level.
- Holiday hours or time off from work allows more time for relaxing and to sample the tastes of the season, and even overdo it with binge drinking.
- Quickly running errands while entertaining can mean a drunk driving choice, or at least a buzzed driving mistake. Did you run out of butter? Call Uber before you drive down the block, if you’ve been drinking.
Drinking alcohol is an answer to stress and to celebrations in many people’s lives, creating a perfect storm in which drunk driving is more likely to happen.
4 in 10 highway deaths during the holiday season are the fault of drunk driving.
That number doesn’t count injuries to people, some of which are lifelong, or the damage to property, loss of wages and overall destruction that happens at the hands of drunk drivers. A car breathalyzer (ignition interlock) device can only do so much, once a person is convicted of drunk driving. Until then, it’s up us to keep the streets safe.
The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is statistically the most dangerous for drunk driving. We all can make our holidays bigger and brighter by having a plan if alcohol is part of the celebrations. Enjoy the holidays to the fullest, but make sure that anyone who drinks does not drive.