It's hard to believe that New Year's Eve is just around the corner! In anticipation of all the festivities, it's important to remember one of the biggest risks associated with this night: DUIs. Every year, thousands of people are arrested for drinking and driving on New Year’s Eve, putting their own lives and those of others in danger.
In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the New Year's Eve DUI statistics surrounding arrests and explore ways to stay safe while celebrating. For more questions contact a Chicago DUI lawyer today for a free consultation!
What is a DUI?
Driving under the influence occurs when a person operates a vehicle after consuming alcohol or drugs. The effects of these substances can impair a person's ability to drive safely and can lead to serious consequences if caught. For example, in some states, a person charged with driving while impaired can face jail time and hefty fines.
To determine whether a person is impaired, law enforcement uses a combination of field sobriety tests as well as breathalyzers and blood tests. The person's alcohol level must be above a certain limit for them to be charged with DUI. This is known as Blood Alcohol Concentration or BAC and the level of BAC varies from state to state. Generally, the blood alcohol limit for BAC is 0.08%.
Some "Reasons" for Drunk Driving
There are a variety of factors that lead to people drinking too much on New Year's Eve. For starters, many individuals use the holiday as an excuse to indulge in alcoholic beverages. What's more, alcohol is often a central part of New Year's Eve celebrations in many cultures. Additionally, people may be more likely to drink excessively on this night due to the festive atmosphere and the feeling of invincibility that often accompanies it.
Factual Statistics on Drunken Driving
New Year's Eve is one of the most dangerous holidays for DUI crashes due to the amount of alcohol consumed by many people. Let's consider some drunk driving statistics.
Every day, drunk driving kills about 32 Americans- that's one person every 45 minutes. In 2021, 14% more people died from alcohol-impaired driving than in 2020: 11,654 preventable deaths in total.
The sobering statistics don't stop there. According to a study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol-related deaths spike on New Year's Eve. In addition to this, many states experience a sharp increase in DUI arrests during the holiday season.
- Every day, nearly 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver.
- According to NHTSA, 50,930 drivers were in fatal car crashes during 2019 and an estimated 19% of those drivers had been drinking alcohol.
- Young adults aged 21-25 years old are more likely to be involved in DUI crashes than any other age group.
- The majority of those killed were passengers in the vehicle driven by the drunk driver.
- The rate of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100,000 people is highest among Native Americans and Alaska Natives, followed by Whites and Blacks.
- In 2020, of the 1,387 drivers involved in fatal crashes who were tested for drugs, 43 percent tested positive for marijuana, opioids, or a combination of the two.
The Potential Consequences of Driving Under the Influence
Intoxicated drivers pose a serious risk to themselves and other motorists on the road, as their impaired judgment and slower reaction time can lead to dangerous and even deadly accidents.
In addition to fines, jail time for a DUI, and increased insurance rates, driving under the influence can have a long-term impact on your life. A drunk driving conviction can result in the suspension or revocation of your driver's license, limit employment opportunities, and have a negative impact on your reputation. The influence of alcohol also makes it much easier for people to make bad decisions and forget about the potential risks.
How to Avoid a DUI This New Year's Eve
The best way to avoid a DUI on New Year's Eve is to plan ahead and be responsible. Designate a sober driver before you start drinking, or use alternative transportation such as public transit, taxis, or ride-sharing services. You should also avoid drinking too much and keep track of how many drinks you have consumed to stay within the legal limit. Finally, if you see someone who is impaired, urge them not to drive and offer alternative methods for getting home safely.
- Make a plan ahead of time for how you will get home safely. Consider having a designated driver or taking public transportation, such as a taxi or Uber.
- Limit your alcohol consumption and opt for non-alcoholic drinks instead.
- If you do consume alcohol, make sure to eat something before you drink and pace yourself.
- Don't get in the car with someone who has been drinking, no matter how well you know them.
- If you think someone is trying to get behind the wheel while impaired, take their keys away from them and help them find another safe way home.
Evidently, these statistics demonstrate just how serious the consequences of drinking and driving can be. It's essential that individuals take the responsibility to stay safe during this celebratory time of year.
Speak to an Experienced DUI Lawyer Today!
Making smart choices this New Year's Eve can help ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time. Driving under the influence is not only illegal and irresponsible, but it can also have long-lasting consequences. With a little planning ahead of time, you can help keep yourself and others safe on the roads. Gatherings such as New Year’s Eve parties should be a time of celebration, not tragedy.
If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important to speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. A qualified lawyer can help you understand your rights, as well as any potential penalties or consequences that may result from a conviction.
At Chicago DUI Defense, we believe that a good defense starts with a good defender. Our team of experienced DUI attorneys is available to assist you in navigating the complex legal process. Contact us today to learn more at (312) 800-1626.