Regardless of whether your Thanksgiving plans will take you out of town or keep you close to home, everyone needs to be aware of the increased risk of a DUI accident. Scram Systems provide a stark look at the statistics for drunk driving during the holidays beginning with Blackout Wednesday through January 2.

What is Blackout Wednesday?

For some people, Blackout Wednesday is the unofficial beginning of the winter holiday season instead of Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving Eve is referred to as Blackout Wednesday because of the higher number of people drinking that evening. According to the information provided by Scram Systems, Blackout Wednesday is a heavier drinking day in some areas than St. Patrick’s Day or New Year’s Eve. Other statistics that are startling include:

  • The percentage of deaths related to alcohol increases during the holiday season by 40 percent. Over the Thanksgiving Holiday, the number of highway deaths related to alcohol increases by 35 percent. That number grows to 41 percent during the Christmas Holiday and 58 percent over the New Year’s Holiday.
  • The number of drunk driving offenses also increases during the holidays. The number of drunk driving offenders increases by 31 percent over the Thanksgiving Holiday, 48 percent on Christmas Eve, and 106 percent on New Year’s Eve.
  • In a survey, one-half of the respondents said that alcohol plays a significant role in family gather’s during the holiday. Almost one-fourth of the respondents said that they felt pressured to drink alcohol at a holiday work party and 96 percent said they went to work hungover or know someone who did during the holidays.
  • Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, it is estimated that 25,000 people will be injured and 1,200 people will be killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents.
  • Your chance of being involved in a drunk driving accident increases by two to three times during the holidays.
  • One in eight drivers admitted that they had driven a vehicle when they believed they were close to or over the legal BAC limit.

Can I Avoid a DUI Accident During the Holidays?

You can avoid causing a DUI accident by never getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking alcohol. If you know that you will be consuming alcohol, you should take a designated driver with you for the evening or plan to get home by using another form of transportation, such as public transit, taxi, or Uber.

Even though you cannot control what other people may do after consuming alcohol, you can reduce your risk of being involved in a DUI accident by avoiding being on the road during peak hours for drunk drivers (evening through early morning) and avoid driving on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

If you do spot a suspected drunk driver, put as much distance between your vehicle and the other driver as possible. Do not attempt to stop a drunk driver. Instead, you can report the driver to the police by calling local law enforcement or 911.

Call a New Orleans DUI Accident Attorney for Help

If a drunk driver injures you, call an attorney as soon as possible to discuss options for recovering compensation for your damages. For a free consultation with a New Orleans DUI accident attorney, call Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889.