Summer is supposed to be a fun, care-free season. Summer holiday parties are often a highlight of the season. Whether we're grilling brats with the neighbors or frying chicken for a family feast before heading out to see the fireworks, summer seems to be made for celebrations. Often, alcohol is a part of our summer holidays, and, when used responsibly, can add to the relaxed atmosphere of the event. However, the laid-back vibe of summer should never extend to alcohol abuse or drunk driving. These alcohol facts and fiction are a sobering reminder of what alcohol can do when it is abused.
DUI Statistics, Holiday Accidents
Drunk driving is a true epidemic around the world. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), in the United States alone, 10,839 people will die as a result of drunk drivers. That's one person every 50 minutes. Even more disturbing, the average person arrested for DUI has already driven drunk 87 times before being caught. If that's not sobering enough, consider these alcohol facts.
Drinking and Driving Facts
- One person is injured every minute in a car crash involving alcohol.
- Over 50% of drivers convicted of DUI continue driving although their license has been suspended.
- For every American adult, drunk driving costs almost $500 per year in taxes, legal and penal fees.
- 1 in 3 people will be involved in a crash due to alcohol in their lifetime.
Clearly, drunk driving shouldn't be taken lightly. Why is this important to remember during summer holidays? Drunk driving statistics show that car accidents involving alcohol climb 10 to 20% around a holiday. It makes sense that when more people drink, there will be more accidents.
We traditionally associate drunk driving with winter holidays like Christmas and New Years, but the fact is, summer holidays are just as likely to be dangerous as their cold-weather counterparts. Sadly, those who abuse alcohol will use any occasion as an excuse to overindulge, and these people are the ones most likely to engage in drunk driving.
Fortunately, there is some good news. Overall, reports of alcohol abuse and drunk driving are down across the nation. The one group that continues to see a rise in alcohol related injury is teens and under-age drinkers. Teen alcohol use is especially dangerous, not only to the teen in question but to those around him or her as well. Never let a teen drink, even under direct adult supervision. Allowing premature alcohol consumption can have lasting consequences on a teen's physical, mental, and emotional health.
Safe Travel During Labor Day
If you are going to be out on the roads this Labor Day, keep these safety tips in mind to ensure that you and your loved ones are as safe as possible from drunk driving.
- Don't drive if you have had anything to drink, no matter how little.
- Choose someone to be a designated driver and let him or her keep everyone's car keys. This person will be responsible for ensuring that no one gets behind the wheel if they are unable to drive safely.
- Avoid using the roads during the evening or nighttime hours if at all possible.
- Drive defensively and avoid areas with heavy traffic.
- Look for signs of a drunk driver: swerving, erratic acceleration, ignoring traffic signs and signals
- If you spot a drunk driver, call 911 and give the operator as much information as possible, including the location of the driver, what the car looking like and, if possible, a license plate number.
- Never give alcohol to a teen or under-aged person.
With a little precaution and common sense, every holiday can be just what it should be: fun, memorable and safe.