Watch Out for Drunk Drivers During the Holidays

a table setting decorated in a Christmas theme

The time between the end of October and the beginning of January is an exciting time of year as many favorite holidays take place including Halloween, New Year’s, and everything in between. However, holiday excitement can mean an increase in revelry and alcohol consumption. This increase in partying heightens the risk of severe injuries and deaths resulting from drunk driving accidents. In fact, between 2013 and 2017, 131 people on average died as a result of an alcohol-related accident on a holiday as compared to the 25 people who died on other days. 

Holidays That See Increased DUI Accidents

Halloween alone has seen many drunk driving accidents, especially those accidents involving pedestrians. However, there is a significant increase in the number of DUI arrests made between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. The following holidays are the top holidays in which alcohol-related accidents take place: 

  • Thanksgiving: this day brings many families and friends together that perhaps don’t get to see each other throughout the year. Many choose to celebrate this time together by drinking. Additionally, the day before Thanksgiving has been known to be one of the busiest for bars and a day in which binge drinking increases.
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas: Reports have shown that in December alone, there is an average of 45 fatalities resulting from drunk driving accidents. In the time between Christmas eve and New Year’s, around 40% of traffic fatalities result from drunk driving. 
  • New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day: Like Halloween, many see the New Year’s holiday as one to celebrate through heavy partying. Also, like Halloween, many people take to the streets to celebrate. This activity increases the likelihood of an impaired driver hitting and seriously injuring pedestrians.

Negligence of a Drunk Driver

Typically in a case involving someone injured or killed by a drunk driver, the driver will be held liable because of his or her negligence. A drunk driver will be found negligent where: 

  • The driver breached his duty to act reasonably in order to prevent causing harm to others. Negligence requires the plaintiff to prove that the defendant had a duty of care, that duty was breached, that breach caused some harm, and there was actual damages or actual harm or injury. 
  • The driver has committed an act that constitutes negligence per se. Here, the plaintiff must show that the defendant violated a statute, and that violation was a substantial cause in bringing harm to the plaintiff. A violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23152, which makes it unlawful to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, is often grounds for holding a defendant liable under negligence per se. 

Have You or a Loved One Been Injured as a Result of Someone Driving While Drunk? 

Drunk driving accidents can be devastating for the victim and his or her family. Depending on the circumstances, you can bring a negligence cause of action or even a wrongful death lawsuit where a family member was killed. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident through no fault of your own, call the personal injury attorneys at Jahrmarkt and Associates, PLLC. Our Los Angeles area attorneys will assist you in getting the compensation you deserve for the physical, mental, and financial stress caused by another’s negligence. Call (310) 226-7676 or visit our website to schedule your free consultation today.