New Year’s Eve Drunk Driving Statistics

New Year's Eve Drunk Driving Statistics

The end of the year is always a time of celebration, especially after the holiday season. New Year’s Eve celebrations are almost always associated with a couple — or more than a couple— of drinks. Unfortunately, this means New Year’s Eve is also associated with extremely high rates of drunk driving and drunk driving-related accidents.

To encourage a safe and healthy New Year’s Eve, it’s important to understand the impact that drunk driving has on this holiday. That’s why we’re sharing this overview of key New Year’s Eve drunk driving statistics, how to lower your risk of being involved in a drunk driving-related accident, and what to do if you are in one.

New Year’s Eve Drunk Driving Statistics Everyone Should Know

Drunk driving poses an enormous safety risk all year round. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in the year 2020, there were 11,654 fatalities in accidents where at least one driver was under the influence of alcohol. This alone represents 30% of all traffic-related deaths for that year.

But on New Year’s Eve, the average number of accidents, injuries, and deaths goes up significantly. New Year’s Eve drunk driving statistics that show this starkly include:

While it may be tempting to think you will be the exception to these statistics, everyone should be fully aware of the effect that alcohol has on the brain and how it dramatically increases the chances of causing a collision.

Effects of High Blood Alcohol Levels on Concentration and Reaction Times

In most of the United States, including Florida, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) while operating a vehicle is .08. While lower BAC levels can still begin to impair, it is generally agreed that levels over .08 cause a serious reduction in concentration and reaction times, including:

  • Changes to heartbeat, breathing, and blood pressure
  • Slower reflexes and reaction time
  • Delayed and diminished physical coordination
  • Slurring of speech
  • Loss of memory
  • Blurry or double vision

In the worst-case scenarios, high BAC levels can lead to drivers passing out behind the wheel.

How to Avoid Drunk Driving (and Drunk Drivers) on New Year’s Eve

Anyone who wants to should be able to party responsibly on New Year’s Eve. And it makes sense for it to be one of the nights where you let loose a little more than normal.

To avoid drunk driving, or even exposing yourself to drunk drivers on the road, you need to have a plan. Here are some effective tips to make your New Year’s Eve as safe as possible:

  • Make plans to stay over at the place where you will be doing New Year’s Eve drinking to avoid even being on the road
  • If you are traveling, designate a driver who will be completely abstaining from drinking
  • If you do not have a designated driver, call a taxi or ride sharing service such as Uber or Lyft
  • Try to avoid major highways or roadways, especially if you know they are near bars or entertainment districts
  • Minimize the number of destinations on your party list, as your risk increases every time you get in the car

Everyone has different bodies that metabolize alcohol slower or faster, and there is no safe way to know what your BAC really is at a given time, short of giving yourself a breathalyzer. That is why there is no safe recommendation for getting behind the wheel even if you’ve only “had a couple.”

What to Do If You Are In A Drunk Driving Accident

No matter what side of the drunk driving equation you are on, if you are ever in a drunk driving-related accident, do the following:

  • Do not leave the scene of the accident, and if you have started to, turn around and go back
  • If possible and safe to do so, remove your vehicle from the roadway
  • Make sure you or any other passenger in the vehicle are safe and not seriously injured
  • Check on any other person involved in the accident and make reasonable efforts to provide assistance if needed
  • Call the police and paramedics if needed
  • Exchange identifying information with the other party if it is safe to do so
  • Call your insurance carrier to report the accident

Under personal injury protection (PIP) laws, or no fault laws, anyone in the state of Florida is entitled to medical coverage through car insurance regardless of the circumstances. It is important to see a doctor immediately after an accident to document and begin receiving treatment for any injuries you have sustained. It is also highly recommended to seek legal representation to ensure your legal rights are being protected and that you receive any compensation you are entitled to.

How an Attorney Can Help If You Are In a Drunk Driving-Related Accident

If you’ve been in a drunk-driving related accident, time is an important factor in any case. This includes collecting witness testimony, police testimony, surveillance video, and any other important documentation.

Having an attorney who understands the law, police procedures, and insurance procedures will ensure that all pieces of evidence you need are collected during the discovery process. An auto accident attorney will also ensure you don’t say anything that may later be used against you by the other driver or their insurance company. We’ll also stay on top of crucial deadlines that may impact your claims.

Reach Out to the Experienced Accident Attorneys at Clark Hartpence Law

If you were injured and/or arrested following a drunk driving-related car accident and don’t know how to move forward, let us help you. Call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation.

Disclaimer: This content is provided for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.