This time of year can be extremely hazardous on the roads because of the holiday traffic. People are rushing to finish holiday shopping, leaving town for the holidays, or simply trying to get to and from work as they do every other day of the year. Unfortunately, it is also a time of year where we see an increase in drunk driving incidents.

Sadly, deaths from alcohol-impaired driving accidents increased from 2015 to 2016. According to the NHTSA, 10,497 people lost their lives in DUI accidents during 2016. California had the second highest number of DUI fatalities in the nation with 1,059 deaths in 2016. Now that the holidays are upon us, the chance of being involved in a drunk driving accident increases.

Drunk Driving Incidents During the Holidays

According to information provided by Scram Systems, forty (40) percent of the traffic-related deaths during the holidays are caused by drunk drivers. New Year’s had the highest percentage with 58 percent, followed by Christmas and Thanksgiving. Work and holiday parties can contribute substantially to drunk driving incidents. When replying to a survey, 96 percent of adults said they went to work hung over after a party, or they knew someone who went to work hung over. Half of the people responding to the survey said that alcohol plays a role in family get-togethers during the holidays.

While you cannot control what other drivers may do during the holidays, you can take steps to decrease your risk of being involved in a DUI accident this holiday season. We encourage everyone to remember that drinking and driving is never safe. There is no such thing as a “good” or “safe” drunk driver.

Tips for Avoiding DUI Accidents in 2017

  • If you enjoy alcoholic beverages this New Year’s Eve or at other times during the holidays, do not drive. Have a designated driver or another form of transportation. Having a plan for getting home or staying overnight BEFORE you drink is the best way to avoid a DUI accident.
  • When hosting a holiday party, you need to watch your guests very carefully for signs of intoxication. This means that as a responsible host, you need to stay sober. If a guest appears intoxicated, arrange for another way home or have that person stay overnight. For large gatherings, you might want to consider hiring professional bartenders who can help you watch for signs that a person may have had too much to drink.
  • If you suspect a drunk driver on the road, you should put as much distance between you and his vehicle. Ask a passenger in your car to call the police to report the suspected drunk driver. Never confront a driver who may be impaired by alcohol or drugs.

California DUI Accident Attorneys Are Here to Help You

If you are involved in a DUI accident this holiday season, our California DUI accident attorneys can help. Filing an accident claim for a drunk driving accident can be a complex matter, especially if the insurance company for the other driver is alleging that you were partially to blame for the collision.

Call Torem & Associates at (559) 500-5000 or 1-800-954-4444 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced California drunk driving accident attorney.  We have offices in Los Angeles, Stockton, and Fresno for your convenience.