Don’t Risk a DUI This New Year’s Eve

car keys next to empty beer glass to symbolize DUI

The Holiday Season is often synonymous with indulgent food and drink. Eggnog, champagne, mulled wine-the list of enticing and inebriating beverages goes on and on. It is no surprise, then, that we tend to drink more frequently and in greater amounts during the Holidays. This means that drunk driving poses a significant hazard for holiday party-goers. New Year’s Eve is particularly risky, with as much as a 116% increase in the chance for a fatal accident due to drunk driving. The likelihood of receiving a DUI is also much higher on New Year’s, largely due to the fact that more police are on patrol to minimize fatal accidents.

Intoxicated drivers not only risk themselves and others’ physical safety, but also their own future plans and goals. A DUI can have significant consequences on your independence, often resulting in your loss of driving privileges for an extended period of time. Luckily, you can avoid becoming a statistic this New Year’s by following a few simple guidelines.

Understand Why People Drink More During the Holidays

First, understand why we might drink more during the holidays. Believe it or not, there is a psychological reason. While many of us associate the holidays with joy, family, and festivities, there are plenty of individuals struggling with increased stress, anxiety, and even depression. In fact, a recent study found that 33% of adults surveyed experienced negative impacts on their mental health during the holidays. 

The same study found that much of this increased stress has to do with expectations for socializing. 50 percent of adults reported using alcohol as a way to cope during family and workplace holiday gatherings. A shocking 17 percent of those surveyed believed it was okay to drink as much as possible at a workplace event so long as they are “not driving or drinking on an empty stomach.” 

Pressure to attend workplace and social gatherings, it would seem, is a huge trigger for irresponsible drinking and driving. If you find you are unable to attend a family gathering or office party without overindulging, make your excuses. No amount of workplace pressure is worth your health and safety. 

Have a Plan to Get Home

It is perfectly fine to enjoy a few drinks at a holiday gathering, as long as you are there in the right frame of mind. You will also want to have a solid plan in place for getting home:

Designated Driver

Ask a trusted friend or loved one to act as the designated driver. They should be willing to strictly abstain from alcohol during the party, which can be more difficult than it sounds. If your designated driver decides to start drinking during the event, plan for a rideshare or other means of transportation. Even one drink is enough to affect decision making. 

Rideshare Programs

Rideshare programs are widely available in most cities. They are easily accessed through a phone app and can be arranged ahead of time or last-minute. In Colorado, you can also receive a credit for Lyft during the holidays. The popular ride share company has partnered with Responsibility.org to provide $10 in Lyft credit to all Coloradans between 12/1/22 and 1/3/23. 

Stay With Friends or Family

If you cannot afford or arrange for alternate transportation, plan to stay with a friend or family member who lives nearby. 

Buckle Up

If you are driving home and you have not been drinking, you will still need to follow basic safety procedures to stay safe. Don’t forget to buckle up, put your phone away, and avoid other distractions that could cause an accident.

The True Costs of a DUI

The costs of an Uber, Lyft, or other alternate means of transportation are nothing compared to the expenses you will incur if you receive a DUI citation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, your first DUI can cost you $10,000 in increased insurance rates, legal fees, and fines. 

Multiple DUI offenses can have even farther reaching consequences. You may serve jail time and lose your license, among other things. 

Denver Drunk Driving Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one is injured by a drunk driver, you will want to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Drunk driving causes irrevocable damage and costs taxpayers millions of dollars annually. Those who choose to drive irresponsibly should be held accountable for their actions. 

David Roth is an experienced accident and personal injury attorney who has helped hundreds of clients seek just compensation for their injuries and property damage. Contact Dave or go online today to schedule a free consultation. 

 

author avatar
Heather Kleinman