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Spring Break: Stay on the Beach and off the Roads

SPRING BREAK...AND BINGE DRINKING...IS HERE AGAIN

It is already that time of year, the time when thousands of high school and college students head to warmer locations in the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, and beyond for a week of partying. Unfortunately, that partying includes drinking alcohol, and in many cases drinking it to excess, a phenomenon known as binge drinking. According to one study, many males drink up to 18 drinks a day and females drink up to 10 drinks a day during spring break.

This revelry in spring break destination spots leads to a sharp increase in alcohol-related accidents in those areas. From the end of February through the first week of April, there is a 9.1% higher death toll from traffic fatalities, with the higher rate occurring among drivers under 25 years old from out of state. Many states that have spring break destination spots impose stiff penalties for drunk driving that include fines, probation, jail time, community service, driver's license suspension or revocation, and increased insurance premiums. Unfortunately, the threat of these punishments does not deter drunk driving enough, and injuries and fatalities occur every year due to inebriated partiers getting behind the wheel.

If relying on negative consequences to stop drunk driving is not working, then perhaps relying on friends will. Partiers need to choose a designated driver before starting the party; this campaign has been around for decades, and its longevity is a testimony to its success. If one person stays sober and drives, not only is that vehicle safer, but so are many others on the road since they are spared the hazards of a drunk driver. Making alternative transportation plans before going out is also a way to stay safe; ask about hotel shuttles, Uber rides, or ride sharing services. Even when using these modes of transportation, it is advisable to have at least one member of your group stay sober in order to call a ride or shuttle. In some cases, a sober friend is needed to take the car keys away from a drunk friend who insists that he or she is "fine" to drive, an action that would endanger not only the drunk driver, but also his passengers and the other vehicles on the road.

NOT ALL ACCIDENTS ARE ON THE ROAD

While drunk driving causes the majority of the accidents during spring break, some injuries and fatalities are the result of slipping and falling--near water. Hotels that want to take advantage of the spring break season overcrowd rooms, pool areas and beaches. When alcohol is added to this already dangerous mix, swimming and diving accidents, and even drownings occur.

Overcrowding and alcohol can also lead to deadly falls from hotel and club balconies.

RECOVERING DAMAGES

If you or your child has been involved in an accident with someone under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, compensation can be recovered for injuries and medical costs, lost wages and any impaired earning ability, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship/consortium. In cases where the court finds gross negligence or intentional misconduct, punitive damages may be awarded to serve as a punishment and a deterrent.

If you or your child suffered an injury at the pool, beach area or grounds of spring break hotels, it may be due to overcrowding, underage drinking, and lack of maintenance and security of the grounds.

Consult Dave Thomas at The Thomas Law Firm for a free evaluation of your legal rights and an assessment of your ability to recover compensation for injuries incurred in an accident.

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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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