In 2011, there were 259 drunk driving deaths in the state of Alabama and drunk driving was a factor in 29 percent of all traffic deaths according to MADD statistics. These deaths were tragic and avoidable, and are a reminder that it is very important to refrain from drinking and driving this holiday season.
Over the holidays, the number of drinking and driving deaths normally increases as two of the biggest drinking days of the year are the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and New Years Eve. Our Montgomery accident attorneys want to remind everyone of the dangers; we urge you to stay safe and keep your friends and family safe over the holidays.
Drunk Driving and the Holiday Season
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is supporting a national drunk-driving prevention campaign called Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. As part of the campaign, traffic safety offices throughout the U.S. are partnering with the GHSA to launch public education campaigns and to step up enforcement of drunk driving laws.
In Alabama, the Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety Division is participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Efforts. Their efforts include:
- Establishing checkpoints, especially in areas where high numbers of crashes related to alcohol have occurred in the past.
- Using social media to educate the public of holiday alcohol dangers.
- Hosting events to increase awareness of holiday drunk driving.
The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will run from December 13 through January 1. Maximum enforcement efforts, including an increase in law enforcement and the establishment of DUI checkpoints, will occur during the highest risk days including New Years Eve.
How to Stay Safe
While the efforts of law enforcement may help to stop drunk drivers before they do any danger to themselves or others, ultimately it is up to each individual to make the choice for himself or herself to be smart and not drink and drive.
When you are going out this holiday season, it is important that you make the wise choice to protect yourself, your passengers and innocent drivers who have to share the road. Some of the things you should do include:
- Always having a designated driver whenever you are going to be consuming alcohol. If you are going out to celebrate, you should name your designated driver prior to going out so that everyone is on the same page.
- Stepping in if you see your friend's make dangerous choices. If you believe that your friend is too drunk to drive, take his or her keys, call a taxi or do whatever it takes to get him home safe.
- Having the phone number of a taxi with you whenever you are going out drinking and bringing enough money to pay for a cab if necessary.
- Talking to your teenagers about drunk driving if you are a parent, and making a house rule that they can always call for a ride no matter what.
By making the choice not to drink and drive, you can potentially prevent a devastating accident. You also need to be aware that there may be more drunk drivers out over the holidays and be watchful for others who might be driving erratically and who could cause you to be harmed in a crash.