Drunk driving any other time of the year is often because of poor judgment or even abuse. During the holidays; however, the number of drinking and driving accidents increases, and often the reasons are innocent.
From holiday parties to family get-togethers, it is easy to overdo it. Whether you are the driver or a person injured by a drunk driver that accident could forever change your life and possibly the lives of your loved ones.
A Few Statistics
It is estimated that $37 billion is paid out annually to cover the costs associated with an alcohol-impaired driver. In 2012 it was stated that over 10,000 people were killed in alcohol-related accidents, which averages out to about one person every 51 minutes in the United States. Unfortunately a lot of these occur during the holidays, when otherwise responsible individuals get behind the wheel after just a few drinks.
The Liability of Drunk Driving: The Host
The liability does not always fall on the drunk driver. If you were the host of a party that served drinks and allowed the intoxicated guest to leave and get behind the wheel, you could be held liable. If you are hosting a holiday party this year, there are things you can do to protect yourself from a situation just like that.
- Have cab numbers or local drunk driving services on standby. You should have a list of providers that work during the holidays and have them ready to call if one of your party attendees becomes too intoxicated to drive home. By insisting your attendees take a cab or car service home, you reduce your liability and ensure they get home without causing any unnecessary accidents.
- Have non-alcoholic options available. Just because you are having a holiday party does not mean you need to flood the party with liquor. Try serving non-alcoholic beverages too, so that those who are driving can still have fun without consuming alcohol.
- Take the keys of those driving. As guests arrive, collect their keys if they plan to drink. Then, only release those keys to those who are capable of making it home safely.
- Check for designated drivers. As your guests arrive, check to make sure they have a designated driver. If not, group parties together and see if other designated drivers are willing to help take people home.
- Offer accommodations. Be ready to offer an intoxicated party guest to stay the night to avoid driving home under the influence. Even if it is a space on the floor, it is certainly better than allowing someone to get behind the wheel, endangering his or her life or the lives of others.
Reducing Your Risk of a DUI
As a driver, it is your responsibility to identify when you are impaired and not get behind the wheel. But, sometimes it takes more than common sense to protect yourself from a DUI, especially if you are under the influence. Reduce your risk this holiday season by:
- Not driving. Have a designated driver picked out or plan to stay the night where you go to party. This reduces your risk significantly and takes the liability off you.
- Be responsible. If you have kids in the car or you are the designated driver, do not drink. Sometimes all it takes is just one drink to impair judgment.
Consult with An Experienced Florida Auto Accident Attorney Today
If you were injured in an accident because of a drunk driver, you have options. The accidents involving a drunk driver are often catastrophic and even deadly. Ensure you get the compensation you deserve by meeting with an experienced attorney. Scott J. Sternberg & Associates are your West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys. Call them for a free consultation.
Car accidents and thanksgiving travel – are you at risk? Learn more about it: Drunk Driving Accidents and the Holidays: How to Reduce Your Risk