When Holiday Drinking Puts Lives in Peril
It is the holiday season—a time for family and friends to gather and enjoy one another as you celebrate and give thanks for the blessings you enjoy. Good food, good company, and, often, lots of alcohol, make the gatherings joyful and memorable. Unfortunately, sometimes the alcohol leads to events everyone wishes they could forget. When those events include tragedies on California roads, the fallout can be heart-wrenching.
During Thanksgiving weekend in 2021, nearly 60 people were killed in highway accidents in California, and there were over 1,000 arrests for impaired driving, up double digits from the previous year. In the United States, the risk of a fatality related to over-imbibing rises by a whopping 56% during the Thanksgiving weekend.
Across the country, someone dies due to a drunk driver every 45 minutes, with a total of 11,654 drunk-driving-related fatalities in 2020 alone. A big chunk of those fatalities occurs after someone has celebrated too hard, had too much to drink, and gotten behind the wheel of a vehicle. Every one of those fatalities left a raft of trauma in its wake, with grieving that lasts long after a drunk driver sobers up and regrets the devastation they created.
Every one of us can take simple steps to improve safety on the road when it comes to alcohol:
- Plan for your way of getting home if you are going to be drinking at holiday parties. Whether it is having a designated driver or planning to take a ride share or cab, know how to get home after the festivities.
- If you see someone you know headed to their vehicle after heavy drinking, do not let them drive. Take their keys and arrange for a safe ride.
- If you are the party host and you are serving alcohol, be sure that no one gets behind the wheel on the way out who should not.
Consequences of Irresponsible Drinking and Driving
There is no disputing that driving under the influence of alcohol is extremely dangerous for yourself and others. The state of California takes this very seriously, and the penalties increase depending on how many times one has had the problem and the circumstances of the situation. Consequences for a DUI might include a combination of the following:
- Suspended or revoked driver’s license;
- Fines ranging from about $400 to as much as $5,000;
- Assessments between $1,400 and $13,000;
- Anywhere from days to years behind bars;
- Mandatory education programs like DUI school;
- Having an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle;
- Probation for months or years.
Legal Penalties are Not Enough for Drunk Driving
For those who have suffered the impacts of a drunk driver’s recklessness, no amount of jail or fines is enough to bring solace. Instead, a personal injury lawsuit that provides funds to address medical bills and other losses could help. To discuss the possibilities, schedule a free, confidential consultation with the knowledgeable and compassionate Temecula Personal Injury Attorneys at Gibbs & Fuerst today.