Drunk driving: What you need to know this holiday season

The holidays have a potential to be a dangerous time of year for drivers. It's normal for families and friends to get together for a few drinks, and that opens people up to increased risks.

Increases in drunk driving have been noted for many years during the holidays. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, alcohol-related crashes skyrocket higher than at any other time during the year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 40 percent of all traffic-related deaths during the reported holiday period are a result of drunken drivers or were influenced by alcohol. During the other times of the year, only around 28 percent of crashes are attributed to drunk drivers.

Is it just that people who drink are driving more during the holidays, or is there a darker issue at hand? If you look at statistics, around 16 percent of adults admit to drinking more than usual when they're celebrating the holidays. Half of people surveyed by the Harris Interactive Survey of Caron Treatment Centers reported that they drink alcohol in relation to their families' activities and holiday events. Maybe not surprisingly, 96 percent of those surveyed admitted to going to work hungover or knowing someone who went to work hungover during the holidays.

DUI charges have a potential to change your life forever. You could ruin your reputation and find yourself unable to drive or unable to keep your license. Remember that a single night of drinking could impact you for years to come; don't take a risk that you'll regret. If you do get caught driving drunk, an attorney can help you plan your defense against the charges.

Source: Scram Systems, "Sober Days for the Holidays," accessed Dec. 21, 2017

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