The Thanksgiving Holiday is almost here, and many people are getting ready to celebrate the long holiday weekend in and around New Orleans. Unfortunately, the Thanksgiving Holiday is the kickoff of the increase in DWI accidents throughout the holidays beginning with Blackout Wednesday. Sadly, there are some people who won’t be able to celebrate the New Year because of a drunk driver.

What Is Blackout Wednesday?

Blackout Wednesday, better known as Thanksgiving Eve, has earned its name because the day before Thanksgiving Day has become the day Americans binge drink the most throughout the year. There could be several reasons for the increase in binge drinking on the day before Thanksgiving Day; however, most people believe two large factors are the long holiday weekend and college student being home for the holidays. Regardless of why people are drinking more on Blackout Wednesday, the real problem is the rise in DWI accidents during the holidays.

DWI Incidents Increase Between Blackout Wednesday And January 2nd

Between the day before Thanksgiving Day and the day after New Year’s Day, DWI violations increase by 33 percent, with the highest increase on New Year’s Eve (155 percent). One survey revealed that 96 percent of respondents admitted to going into work hungover. Forty percent of the people polled said their friends and family use the holidays as a reason to drink alcohol and 60 percent of people said they though alcohol makes a party more enjoyable.

One of the most shocking figures is the number of people who admitted seeing people drive while impaired by alcohol — 57 percent of people polled. This highlights the seriousness of the problem of drinking and driving during the holiday season.

An Increase In DWI Incidents Increases DWI Accidents

One source estimates that 1,200 people will be killed and 25,000 people will be injured in DWI accidents during the holiday season. Your risk of being killed in a DWI accident increases by two to three times during the holiday season. The CDC estimates 28 people die each day in the United States in alcohol-impaired motor vehicle accidents. If the above numbers are correct, this number increases to dramatically during the holiday season. We can expect 728 people to be killed or injured each day in DWI accidents during the holiday season.

Can I Avoid A DWI Accident?

It is highly likely that law enforcement agencies in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana will step up DWI patrols during the holidays. According to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, an impaired driving enforcement wave is scheduled to begin December 15 and continue through January 1.

You cannot control what other drivers choose to do after consuming alcohol, but you can be on the lookout for drunk drivers. Focus all your attention on driving this holiday season by eliminating all distractions while driving. If you notice a driver who seems to be demonstrating some of the characteristics of an impaired driver, drop back and put more distance between you and the vehicle. Pull to a safe location and call 911 to report the vehicle.

You can also decrease your risk of being in a DWI accident by avoiding driving on days with increased risk of drunk drivers (i.e. New Year’s Eve). Also, stay off the roads the hour before and a couple of hours after the bars and clubs close. However, the best defense is to remain highly alert when driving during the holidays.

Call A New Orleans DWI Accident Attorney

If you are injured in a DWI accident, call Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm for a free legal consultation. Contact our office at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to speak with a NoLA DWI accident attorney.