‘Tis The Season: Holidays Mean More Drunk Drivers

 With the Holiday season upon us, you can expect to encounter more drunk and impaired drivers on area roadways, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, (MADD). Their statistics show that this time of year is the most deadly when it comes to alcohol-related crashes, estimating that more than 1,000 people will die in drunk driving accidents between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. The figures point to the increase in special social events and parties, and the increase in the consumption of alcohol, as factors. MADD points out the irony of these facts, in that drinking and driving is one of the most easily preventable catastrophes, noting that drivers simply need to make the choice to not drink and get behind the wheel of their car.

MADD has been advocating against the dangers of drunk driving since 1986, and undertakes many programs and services in their efforts to warn the public of the dangers involved. One of their more successful campaigns may seem simplistic in theory, but yet it has proven to be extremely effective in reducing the number of drunk drivers on the road. The “Designate A Driver Program” is designed to encourage Holiday partygoers to select one member of their group to remain sober when attending any party where alcohol will be served. This eliminates the question about who will be driving or how other members of the group will be getting home. Of course, this planning ahead is not applicable to just attending the office Christmas party, but should be utilized year-’round.

Since 1981, every President of the United States has demonstrated his commitment to preventing impaired driving by proclaiming December as National Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month. The National Highway traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA), reminds you that their primary message during the December holiday season is Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk – Designate a Sober Driver. They provide the tips below to help make sure you arrive home safely, and do not become a Holiday fatality statistic:

• Don’t even think about getting behind the wheel of your vehicle if you’ve been out drinking
• If you are impaired, call a taxi – use mass transit – or get a sober friend or family
member to come and get you
• Or just stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober
• Remember – Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. Take the keys and never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive while impaired • If you are hosting a party this holiday season, remind your guests to plan ahead and designate their sober driver, always offer alcohol-free beverages and plenty to eat during the event, and make sure all of your guests leave with a sober driver

The NHTSA also says that Thanksgiving is the most dangerous holiday of the year for drivers, whereas most people assume it would New Year’s Eve. Thanksgiving is the day when heavy traffic, drinking and long-distance car trips combine to create fatal travel conditions. Another factor is the current high cost of air travel, resulting in more Holiday travelers opting to drive to family gatherings rather than fly.

The local law firm of Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner Personal Injury Lawyers, P.A., has long been a supporter of MADD, and in fact works aggressively with them and their cause, sponsoring their public service television commercials, donating office space to them and supporting their initiatives in a variety of ways. The firm also has developed a program in cooperation with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and MADD called “Mobile Eyes” Against Drunk Driving. Any 9-1-1 caller reporting a drunk driver and acknowledging the “Mobile Eyes” program becomes eligible for a $100.00 reward if the impaired driver is stopped by law enforcement and arrested for DUI.

“People need to just stop and realize, particularly at this time of year, that simply making the decision to not get behind the wheel of a car after drinking can actually save lives, and make the Holidays safer for everyone on the road,” says the law firm’s founder AND senior attorney, Bruce L. Scheiner.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a drunk driving crash, we want you to know that our expertise and nearly four decades of standing up for crash victim’s legal rights can be instrumental in making your life whole again. For more information about our services and our results, visit www.focusedonjustice.com, or call 1-800-DialBLS.

The entire family of lawyers and support staff in our 7 area offices wish all of you a joyous and safe Holiday Season.

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