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The Most Dangerous Time of the Year

THE MOST DANGEROUS TIME OF THE YEAR

Every year, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a festive time, a time of getting together with friends and family. Often referred to in old songs and movies as “the most wonderful time of the year” because of the chance to see loved ones, the celebrations during the holiday season have unfortunately made these weeks the most dangerous time of the year as well. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, two-three times more people die in alcohol-related crashes; 1,200 people will be killed in alcohol-related crashes; and 25,000 people will be injured in traffic accidents caused by alcohol. As of 2015, the percentage of highway deaths related to driving under the influence is as follows: Thanksgiving 35%; Christmas 41%; and New Years 58%, with the whole holiday season averaging 40% of highway deaths related to drinking while driving.

ENFORCEMENT OF DUI LAWS

The suspension of an offender’s driver’s license and the installation of an ignition interlock device are two common penalties associated with violations of driving under the influence and driving while impaired laws. For repeat offenders and those who have committed felonies such as vehicular homicide or vehicular assault due to being under the influence, serving time in prison may also be an appropriate penalty.

Some states are taking steps to lower the number of accidents and fatalities caused by repeat offenders. In Ohio, for example, Annie’s Law awaits the signature of Governor Kasich. Annie Rooney was killed by a repeat operating vehicle impaired (OVI) offender, and her family lobbied to strengthen the state’s ignition interlock law. Under Annie’s Law, a judge no longer has the discretion to grant driving privileges; an OVI offender will only be able to resume normal driving if an ignition device is installed in every vehicle the offender drives.

Georgia DUI laws use a variety of enforcement tools which include license suspension, fines, community service, alcohol education programs, jail, and installation of ignition interlock devices.

#HolidayResponsibly

One way to promote #HolidayResponsibly is to give cab or Uber rides as gifts or stocking stuffers to party guests and family members. Another good practice is to post reminders about not drinking and driving on social media and send the post(s) to family members and friends, particularly those likely to engage in this risky behavior. Always monitor the sobriety of those driving, and designating a driver—or a cab—for the night is still the safest way to go. People who only drink around the holidays, who partake of the seasonal glass of spiked eggnog on Christmas or champagne on New Year’s, are especially likely to feel the effects of very little alcohol. Planning ahead of time to let someone who is not drinking do the driving will ensure that the holidays remain the most wonderful time of the year.

CONTACT YOUR ATTORNEY

If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, contact Dave Thomas at The Thomas Law Firm for a free consultation.

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Thomas Law Firm
Located at 945 East Paces Ferry Road, Resurgens Plaza, GA 30326.

Phone: (678) 264-8348.
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