DUI Fatal Accidents Increase on Holidays
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento auto accident lawyer. Holidays are a time of celebration in Sacramento as they are across the country. However, fatal drunk driving accidents increase in frequency during holiday periods. Let’s take a look at the incidence of DUI accidents on holidays, how different holidays rank and what can be done to stay safe when you are driving anytime of the year.
Easter Is One of the Deadliest Holidays
While not as deadly as Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, Easter is one of the worst days for fatal DUI accidents. According to ValuePenguin, Inc., Easter has 37.4 percent more fatal drunk driving accidents than a non-holiday. When Easter fell on a holiday weekend over the period 2011 to 2015, the number of fatal accidents were 280 as compared to a non-holiday weekend with 250 fatal crashes.
Holiday Ranking for DUI Accidents
Holidays differ as to the number of drunk driving accidents. The following are a list of DUI fatal accidents and the average percentage for a three-day holiday weekend:
- Memorial Day: 40.3 percent
- Fourth of July: 38.5 percent
- Easter: 37.4 percent
- Labor Day: 36.3 percent
- New Year’s: 35.8 percent
- Thanksgiving: 34.7 percent
- Christmas: 30.7 percent
- No holiday: 29.2 percent
Drugs and Driving
Not all drunk driving accidents are due to alcohol. Approximately, 30 percent of drivers who are in a fatal DUI crash test positive for drugs. Drug use is happening at an alarming rate with more drivers using drugs than alcohol by a ratio of 14 percent to 7.4 percent. Marijuana is the most common drug. Other drugs have an effect too with opioids leading the way. Such drugs have an additive effect when mixed with alcohol. Just because the drugs were prescribed by a doctor doesn’t make them any less lethal. Reading the warning labels that accompany prescriptions and not driving if the label warns of problems associated with a drug when driving is a good idea to avoid a serious vehicular accident.
According the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 10,000 people die on the nation’s highways every year due to drunk driving. Sacramento police remind those in the city that “buzzed driving is drunk driving.” So even if a driver may not think they are drunk, they may be arrested by police.
How Do Police Know a Driver Is Impaired?
On the roads, a police officer cannot stop a vehicle randomly to test for alcohol. However, if the driver is speeding, ignoring stop signs or traffic lights, driving too slow or swerving from one lane to another, they can be pulled over. A law enforcement officer will observe the driver to see if he or she seems confused or fumbles when handing over their registration and license. They will also be checking to see if there is an odor of marijuana or alcohol in the vehicle.
If there is reason to believe the driver is impaired, the police officer may ask them to perform a series of tests such as the horizontal gaze nystagmus test to determine drunkenness. A breathalyzer test may also be administered on the spot. Blood tests, although done less frequently, can also be used. If drugs are suspected, specially trained policemen and women called drug recognition experts (DRE) may be used to evaluate the driver.
Drunk Driving Apprehension Efforts
On holidays, Sacramento Police as well as DUI task force patrols are increased to apprehend drunk drivers. DUI checkpoints are used around the city of Sacramento and elsewhere in an effort to prevent accident injuries and fatalities.
How to Stay Safe
Don’t drink and drive. If you are going to drink, have a friend as the designated driver. It is best to plan ahead of the day’s celebration. If this plan is in effect, leave your keys and car at home. In the event you do not have a plan in effect, you can call Uber or Lyft in the city to get home safely. An alternative is to have the names and telephone numbers of a few taxi services in your wallet.
Sacramento Auto Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento auto accident lawyer. Drunk driving is a serious problem around the country and contributes to many accident injuries and deaths. If you or a member of your family was injured in a collision with a drunk driver, I am here to offer free, friendly advice. Phone me at (916) 921-6400 if you live in the Sacramento area or (800) 404-5400 outside the area.
Feedback from some of my former clients can be found at:
On my website, you can look over some of our prior cases and their results at Verdicts and Settlements.
Million Dollar Advocates was established for the top trial lawyers around the country. I am honored to be counted among those who have won settlements or verdicts for clients of one million dollars or more.
For 35 years now, I have helped Sacramento residents and those from the surrounding areas of Northern California as an injury lawyer in obtaining fair compensation for their injuries, including cases of wrongful death and traumatic injuries.
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/car-accident-crash-crashed-smash-85320/
:cd [cs 891] cv