“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”…unless you end up getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or even worse, the victim of a drunk driving collision. As we all run around finishing up our holiday shopping and prepare to spend the holidays with family, both near and far, the roadways fill up with holiday traffic. Consequently, the Cass County DUI attorneys at Petersen Law Office want to take this opportunity to warn drivers about the most dangerous driving day of the year.
Despite the increased reliance on air travel worldwide, American’s continue to choose driving as their primary method of getting from Point A to Point B. Consequently, on an average day in the U.S. the nation’s roadways are often congested as people drive to and from work or travel for business or pleasure. Certain times of the year, however, cause the number of vehicles on the nation’s roadways to skyrocket. The period beginning just before Christmas and ending on New Year’s Day is, by far, the busiest time for vehicle traffic in the U.S. When you add in the tendency to include alcohol in the holiday celebration it becomes easy to see why it is also the deadliest time to be on the road.
The Most Dangerous Day – New Year’s Day
The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day may be the busiest time period for vehicular traffic, but the single most dangerous day of the year is New Year’s Day. Arrests for DUI and accidents caused by a drunk driver increase dramatically from late on New Year’s Eve until early on New Year’s Day. There are 71 percent more crashes with drugs or alcohol as a contributing factor between December 31st at 6 pm and January 1st at 6 am. In just that 12 hour period, alcohol and drug-related car crashes skyrocket. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), between 2001 and 2005, 36 fatalities occurred per day on average in the United States as a result of crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. During the Christmas period, an average of 45 fatalities involving an alcohol-impaired driver occurred each day, and soared to 54 per day over the New Year’s holiday. Compared to an average night on the weekend, between 2008 and 2012, January 1st had the highest percentage of alcohol-related deaths when compared to other days and holidays. In fact, on New Year’s Day in 2013 alone, 140 individuals were killed in crashes that were alcohol-related. The statistics make it clear that New Year’s Eve/Day is by far the most dangerous day to be on the roadways as well as the most likely time to end up arrested for driving under the influence.
Tips for Staying Safe
Of course, safety should be a primary concern every time you get behind the wheel of your vehicle; however, if you plan to travel, or go out on the town, over the New Year’s holiday, taking extra safety precautions is a good idea. Some tips to help keep you safe, and out of jail, include:
- Designating a driver who will not drink on New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day.
- Reserve a hotel room within walking distance of where you plan to ring in the new year or make plans to stay over at a friends house who lives close by.
- Download the Uber or Lyft app and have the numbers of local taxi companies stored on your phone.
- Call a family member or friend to come and get you if all else fails.
- Don’t take chances. If you have had anything to drink, don’t drive because the DUI checkpoints and patrols will be out in full force.
- Stay off the roadways unless absolutely necessary even if you are completely sober because many of the drivers on the roadways aren’t
Contact the Cass County DUI Attorneys at Petersen Law Office
If you end up getting arrested despite these tips, and are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Nebraska, contact a DUI lawyer at Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense lawyer.