As we find ourselves in the heart of the festive season, filled with joy, generosity, and gatherings with loved ones, it's essential to bear in mind the risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption. Specifically, the perilous consequences of driving under the influence, specifically as it relates to accidents and injuries.
December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. This annual initiative aims to empower individuals with knowledge about the hazards of intoxicated driving. Despite these efforts, the holiday season still witnesses a distressing number of accidents attributed to impaired driving.
The statistics relating to DUI accidents are alarming:
- On average, an American person will increase their consumption of alcoholic beverages by 100% between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Nearly 70% of people overindulge during the holiday season.
- Over 11,650 people were killed nationwide in DUI-related accidents in 2020.
- In 2018, Florida was ranked the third most dangerous state for holiday driving, as fatalities around Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other holidays were very high.
The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States has highlighted that a significant portion, 25%, of the annual revenue for the distilled spirits industry, which amounts to $49 billion, is generated in the period from Thanksgiving through New Year's. The allure of consuming alcohol during festive holiday weekends is so powerful that even those who usually drink moderately are likely to up their consumption levels.
Why Does Drinking Increase So Much During the Holidays?
The tradition of indulging in alcoholic beverages during the holiday season is fairly common. This can be attributed to the influx of old acquaintances and family members returning home, the hosting of festive get-togethers, corporate holiday celebrations, significant sports broadcasts, and special holiday TV programming. These are all scenarios that often involve social drinking. In our society, moderate alcohol consumption is generally accepted and even promoted, making it an integral part of the holiday cheer.
However, not all the reasons for increased holiday-related alcohol consumption are happy. Holidays, for some individuals, can evoke feelings of isolation and anxiety. The idea of socializing at workplace gatherings may not be appealing to everyone, and the presence of old acquaintances or rarely-seen family members can potentially create tense circumstances.
Other reasons for the spike include:
- Financial and economic difficulty. The challenges become more pronounced when there's an expectation to make purchases for holiday celebrations despite grappling with routine expenses like bills and rent. Under these circumstances, some individuals may resort to using alcohol as a coping mechanism for their distress.
- Lack of understanding of personal limits. A significant research study on alcohol consumption indicates that a majority of Americans are unfamiliar with the characteristics of high-risk drinking, leading them to underestimate their consumption boundaries and create a misleading sense of safety around their drinking habits.
During the holiday season, not only is there an increase in alcohol consumption, but there's also a surge in road traffic, night-time driving, and potentially adverse weather conditions, particularly during the Christmas period. These factors collectively heighten the risk of involvement in accidents related to driving under the influence.
Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident? Contact Us!
A DUI accident can ruin the holidays for yourself and anyone else who is affected by the terrible decision to get behind the wheel after drinking. If you have been injured in an accident due to an intoxicated driver, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost income. Pittman Law Firm can help you every step of the way to navigate through the process of recovering after an accident.
Contact us online or via phone at (239) 603-6913 to schedule a consultation with our DUI accident attorneys.