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Drunk Driving Can Turn Holiday Cheer into Holiday Disaster

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As a result of alcohol related drunk driving accidents, more than 10,000 people will lose their live this year. Sadly, many students home for the holidays will not make it back to school. The most drunk driving fatalities happen during Thanksgiving. And, according to the United State Department of Transportation, on average there are 45 deaths on each day of the holiday season. Around the holidays, there is always a spike in drinking and driving deaths according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

The statistics are sobering. Over the course of the entire year, about 41 percent of fatal accidents are due to alcohol. This number jumps up to 57 percent on New Year’s Day and 52 percent on Christmas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about 25,000 people will be injured during the holiday season.

Death Rates on a Decline

Luckily, over the past few years, there has been a steady decline in the number of alcohol related deaths during the holidays. For example, there were 2,600 deaths from drinking and driving during the 1982 holiday season according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This accounted for 60 percent of accident fatalities. The number of deaths has been more than halved in just three decades.

Of all alcohol consumed, under aged drinker drink about 15 percent of it. Also, drinkers between the ages of 21 and 24 make up the highest percentage of impaired drivers during the holiday season. This means that those who are dying are among our youngest drivers. Their entire futures are being wiped out due to one poor decision.

Women are increasingly driving while intoxicated. In a one decade period from 1998 to 2007, the number of women arrested for driving under the influence increased by 29 percent. For men during that same time period, the arrests decreased by eight percent. Men are still arrested for intoxicated driving four times more often than women however. Would that more young people had costume parties like the recent Snoopy flash mob. Just hit up a Halloween costume store like grab a Santa costume and make a party that you can remember and talk about for years.

Only You Can End Drunk Driving

The number of drivers arrested for DWI’s continues to rise despite the dip the fatalities. According to some estimates, there are over 400,000 drunk drivers with more than four DWI convictions and two million with more than two convictions still on the roads. To avoid becoming one of these statistics, here are some steps you can take:

  • Be on the lookout for erratic movements from drunk drivers.

  • If someone you know has been drinking, do not let them behind the wheel of a car.

  • If you see someone you think is driving drunk, report them immediately to the police.

  • On holidays, avoid driving during dusk and night time.

  • No matter how little you think you have had to drink, do not drive.

Many cities offer options for those who have unexpectedly had too much to drink. Take precautions before going out. Even if you do not plan on drinking, have the phone number for a taxi service or friend who can give you a ride home entered into your phone contacts. If you do plan on drinking, be sure you know how you are getting home. Have a safe holiday season.



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