The Most Wonderful Time of the Year? Not If You Want to Avoid Drunk Drivers.

By Greg Kohn

With the end of the year approaching there are bound to be numerous holiday parties, office parties and family get togethers well lubricated with alcohol. It is always great to get together with friends and family during the holidays. But, it is important that you are aware of the risk that you could be involved in an accident with a drunk driver. You should also take certain precautions to avoid liability for a drunk driving accident.

More people are likely to die in alcohol-related traffic crashes during the holidays than at other time of the year, according to the National Institutes of Health. During Christmas and the New Year, two to three times more people die in alcohol-related crashes than during comparable periods the rest of the year.  Forty percent of traffic fatalities during these holidays involve a driver who is alcohol-impaired, compared to 28 percent for the rest of December. The period between Thanksgiving and the weekend following the New Year is known as “DUI season”, and for good reason. About 36 fatalities occurred each day because of a drunk driver during this period between the years of 2001 and 2005, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That increased to 45 per day during the Christmas holiday and 54 per day over the New Year holiday period.  Many of these cases result in civil actions for wrongful death.

Do not drink if you are driving from a holiday party. Also remember that your driving can become impaired after only a few drinks and that coffee will not help sober you up. You should also know that driving home late at night increases the risk of an accident because your natural drowsiness is magnified by the depressant effects of alcohol. Driving abilities can also be impaired the next day due to alcohol remaining in your system or due to a hangover. Plan ahead by appointing a designated driver or calling a taxi. This information will help you avoid liability for an auto accident involving alcohol.

Don’t become a statistic this holiday season. Don’t drink and drive and be alert for drivers who may have had too much to drink. If you are or a loved one is involved in an auto accident caused by an impaired driver in or around Essex County, New Jersey, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Nagel Rice by calling (973)618-0400 or (212)551-1465.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.