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USDOT: Drunk Driving Accidents Spike During the Holiday Season

It’s the holiday season. For many people, that means it is time to take off from work, relax, enjoy Denver’s brisk winter weather, and spend meaningful time with friends and loved ones. Of course, for many people this means partaking in holiday festivities, and for some this presents the risk of getting too drunk to drive.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), “over the past 5 years, an average of 300 people died in drunk driving crashes the week between Christmas and New Year.” The USDOT’s data also indicate that:

  • Over the past five years, close to 4,000 people have lost their lives in drunk-driving accidents in the month of December.
  • Over this same five-year period, more than one in four fatal auto accidents in the month of December (28 percent) involved a drunk driver.

These are alarming statistics, and they highlight the importance of everyone making efforts to keep themselves and others off of the road when there is a risk that they could be alcohol-impaired. Even when drunk-driving accidents are not deadly, they can leave innocent victims suffering from severe traumatic injuries and facing significant financial losses.

How Much is Too Much?

Everyone’s alcohol tolerance is different. Sex, weight, body composition and other factors can all impact a person’s susceptibility to alcohol impairment. But, while everyone’s threshold is unique, one thing that is common among many people is that they cannot tell when they have crossed the line. With even one or two drinks potentially meaning the difference between normal brain function and severe impairment, it is not uncommon for people to struggle to know when they have had too much to drive.

Warning Signs that a Driver May Be Alcohol Impaired

Acknowledging that there are going to be drunk drivers on the road this holiday season, it is important for all drivers and passengers to be able to spot the warning signs of drunk driving. While some accidents will simply be unavoidable, if you are able to safely maintain your distance from a driver who appears to be impaired, you may be able to protect yourself against the life-altering effects of a drunk driving accident:

  • Weaving from side to side within the driver’s lane
  • Drifting onto the shoulder, across lanes or into oncoming traffic
  • Following closely behind other vehicles
  • Driving well below the speed limit or failing to maintain a constant speed
  • Braking suddenly or erratically
  • Making unusually-wide turns and other abnormal driving behaviors

We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season, and if you or someone you know struggles with alcohol dependence, we encourage you to seek help. Drunk driving accidents should not happen, and no one should be forced to live with the consequences of someone else’s dangerous mistake.

Levine Law | Auto Accident Lawyers in Denver, CO

The attorneys at Levine Law represent individuals and families who are suffering due to the effects of drunk driving accidents. If you have been injured or someone you love has been killed by a drunk driver in the Denver area, we encourage you to call 303-333-8000 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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