Through early January, residents of Wisconsin will certainly gather with family, friends and loved ones to celebrate the holidays and the start of 2016. It is safe to say that many of these gatherings will feature drinks for adults to help them get into the holiday spirit.
It is good to have a fun time and celebrate the New Year’s holiday. But if you plan on driving after you have been enjoying alcohol at a holiday event, please think again: It’s just too dangerous.
As statistics show – and our lawyers have seen – drunk driving accidents happen all too often due to bad choices.
Drinking and driving ruins not only your own holiday plans. It can destroy the lives and dreams of other innocent motorists and passengers and their families.
Drinking and Driving Is Dangerous Holiday Mix
Statistics prepared by state and national organizations and agencies show an increase in the rate of alcohol-related injury and fatal crashes during the holidays.
For example, statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that during one recent 16-day span between December 15 and January 1:
- 349 drivers ages 21-24 died in crashes (21 deaths per day)
- 39 percent of those drivers were impaired (BAC of 0.08 or higher).
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, citing the NHTSA, found that the number of alcohol-related traffic deaths is two to three times higher between Christmas and New Year’s than during other similar periods. In fact:
- 40 percent of traffic deaths during this period involve a drunk driver – about 12 percent higher than the rest of December.
Consider these facts:
- The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) reports that Wisconsin has the highest rate of drunk driving in the nation.
- More than one-quarter of Wisconsin residents who responded to a survey several years ago admitted they had driven under the influence of alcohol.
- Alcohol contributed to 223 deaths and 3,000 injuries in Wisconsin during one recent year (20 deaths and 250 injuries per month).
Alternatives to Drinking and Driving
Staying safe on the roads this holiday season is a matter of planning in advance how you will respond if you find yourself at a party or establishment and alcohol is available for consumption.
Make your response plan ahead of time – and stick to your plan!
You can choose from many alternatives to drinking and driving, including:
- Do not drink alcohol (or drink only non-alcoholic beverages).
- Ask a friend or family member to serve as a designated driver.
- Arrange ahead of time for a taxi to pick you up at a certain time or ask the host/hostess to call you a cab when you are ready to head home.
- Use a ride-sharing service like Uber to get home safely.
Note that walking home while intoxicated is not a safe or effective way to make it home during the winter (or at any other time of the year, for that matter).
According to research published by Loyola Medicine, drunk walking can be as dangerous for your health and safety as drunk driving.
Have You Been Injured in a Holiday Drunk Driving Accident in Milwaukee?
At Techmeier Law Firm, our experienced and compassionate Milwaukee car accident lawyers have seen the devastation and damage a drunk driver can do. That is why we are passionate about encouraging all drivers this holiday season to think before they drink.
We are equally passionate about helping alcohol-related crash victims to hold drivers who decide to drink and drive accountable for their reckless actions.
Contact us today if you or a loved one is or has been injured in a drunk driving accident in Wisconsin.