When Andy Williams wrote about Christmas in his famous carol, he said there’d be “parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, and caroling out in the snow!” What he didn’t mention in that glorious list, is the significant rise in drunk driving incidents every year at Christmas time. Why? Well, there isn’t much that rhymes with “drunk driving.” And besides, it was supposed to be a happy song! And drunk driving rarely has happy results but those that have travelled that road in Michigan already know.
It’s a widely known fact that there are more DUI arrests, and more alcohol-related car crashes around Christmas time. But why? What is it about the holly-jolly season that makes people get behind the wheel after a few too many? It is the Christmas spirit, or in this case, the Christmas spirits? The answer is yes. And yes.
During the holidays there are a lot more people on the road.
People travel both in and out of Michigan to be with family and loved ones. That means a lot more cars on the road. Add in the fact that festive get togethers usually include alcohol in lavish quantities, and you’ve got the classic recipe for disaster. Christmas lights, beautifully wrapped gifts, music, champagne,…. and wine. And beer. And mixed drinks. And …. The list goes on.
When people get together and spent time celebrating, alcohol often plays a role in the good times. In fact, the entire period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day sees a dramatic rise in DUI offenses. Although when you look at the stats, Christmas and New Years are definitely the worst. According to the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 40 percent of all traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers. When you compare numbers, that’s a 12 percent increase over the rest of the year.
Knowing the facts, why aren’t people extra careful during the holidays?
So why do so many people drink and drive during the holidays? Surely they know the dangers? Well, yes, they probably do, but as research shows, people don’t always make the right choices. And not always for the reason you’d think. Data on holiday drinking trends show that 16 percent of adults say they drink more than usual during the holidays. Why? Because a full 50 percent say that alcohol plays a role in their holiday traditions.
Okay, but that’s family, what about all the other seasonal get togethers? White elephant gift exchanges, office celebrations, ugly sweater parties. There are so many social events around the holidays, which means many more opportunities to consume alcohol in a social setting. But surely peer pressure ended with high school? Nope. Research shows that of the people attending holiday work parties, 22 percent of them felt pressure to consume alcohol.
Don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking!
Folks, we cannot say this enough…. Don’t drink and drive! Call a cab, designate a driver, get a ride, crash on the couch (if possible), stay at a hotel within safe walking distance. The options are endless! Nothing ruins Christmas faster than spending it in some Michigan jail. Or worse, in hospital. And nothing could be more awful than putting someone else in hospital. Or in an early grave.
If you made a mistake, though, and need help sorting through the fall out, that’s where we come in. The skilled DUI defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm can help you. We’ve spent decades helping the people of Michigan with their drunk driving charges, and we can help you too. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and even on holidays. Call us at 866 766 5245. We’re here for you.