Each year, more so during the holiday season, Floridians see the all-too familiar television commercials advising them not to drink and drive. And yet, each year, at least 300 people are killed in alcohol-related car accidents in the United States in the few days surrounding Christmas and New Year’s Eve, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
By the Numbers – Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
While Florida law considers a driver impaired if his or her BAC level exceeds 0.08 (0.02 for people under the age of 21), there is no safe level of alcohol consumption when it comes to operating a vehicle. The drunk driving accident attorneys at the Shiner Law Group reference a guide issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the effects of alcohol on a driver. (These calculations presume the subject is a 160-lb. male and the drink’s alcohol percentage equals that of a 12-ounce beer.)
- Two drinks: reduced ability to visually track rapid motion and perform simultaneous tasks.
- Three drinks: reduced coordination and ability to respond to emergency situations.
- Four drinks: reduced concentration, short-term memory, and speed control. Ability to process information and perceive surroundings is impaired.
- Five drinks: unable to maintain a steady lane position. Reduced ability to break proficiently.
- Seven drinks: Significant inability to maintain full control of a vehicle, comprehend surroundings, or process information.
Drunk Driving Statistics
A 2014 NHTSA study reveals that men are three times as likely to cause a fatal alcohol-related crash as women. Drunkdrivingstats.org attributes 80% of the nation’s DUI incidents to men in 2010, with 21- to 34-year-olds as the highest risk group.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) further reports that in 2010, alcohol-related crash deaths accounted for 40 percent of Thanksgiving fatalities, 52 percent of Christmas fatalities, and 57 percent of New Year’s fatalities. The advocacy group also states that while car crashes are the leading cause of death among teens, a quarter of these incidents involve a drunk driver.
How to Prevent Drunk Driving
“Don’t drink and drive” is a phrase that has, unfortunately, become cliché, but it holds unimpeachable truths that apply to anyone who chooses to operate a vehicle.
Floridians know driving while under the influence is not only illegal, but severely irresponsible. When poised with the opportunity, the answer is simple: don’t drink and drive.
Fact: In Florida, 841 people are killed annually in alcohol-related accidents (as of 2016).
If you or your loved one plans to engage in the yuletide festivities this holiday season and the spirited camaraderie that accompanies it, the Shiner Law Group references these tips issued by the NHTSA:
- Make plans to get home safely if you plan on staying out after hours.
- Arrange for a designated driver who will not drink.
- If you consume alcohol, call a taxi, use public or private transportation, or take advantage of apps like the NHTSA’s SaferRide.
- If hosting a party, offer guests alcohol-free beverages or a place to sleep. Have contact information for transportation services available. Arrange for a designated server to monitor guests’ alcohol consumption, and be prepared to intervene if a guest is determined to drive.
<Remember: Hosting a party does not mean the host’s responsibility to his or her guests ends when a person leaves if that guest is underage or habitually addicted to alcohol.
Wishing You a Safe Holiday Season
The personal injury attorneys at the Shiner Law Group have been representing Florida victims and their families for over 15 years. We have witnessed the first-hand accounts of the irreparable damage caused by irresponsible and drunk drivers.
If you or a loved one is injured in a drunk driving accident, we are prepared to help. Our drunk driving accident attorneys are committed to protecting your rights by determining fault, gathering relevant evidence, and working with relevant industry professionals to help you build the most compelling claim.
Speak with a Shiner Law Group Drunk Driving Accident Attorney
Keep you and your Florida neighbors safe this holiday season by driving sober. If you or someone you love been injured because of the negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct of another? Call us at (561) 777-7700 or contact us online for a free case review.