As the holidays approach, we often think of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and family. An often- forgotten part of the feast is the eggnog, the box of wine, and the beers while watching football. This is simply a part of family tradition, a way to relax and enjoy family together, but what happens when it is time to leave? Do you have a designated driver or another safe plan to get home or do you assume you can handle it and climb behind the wheel to drive you and yours home?
The sad reality is that every single day the U.S. experiences 29 deaths due to alcohol related car crashes. This equates to one death every 50 minutes with a staggering annual cost of more than $44 billion.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016 alone 10,497 people died as a direct result of an alcohol related crash, equaling 28% of the total deaths due to traffic accidents.
Unfortunately, even small children often die as a result of impaired driving accidents. In 2016, 214 children age infancy to 14 died at the hands of a drunk driver.
The cost of drunk driving related arrests continues to increase, even though it still does not seem to deter society from drinking and driving. The CDC reports that 2016 boasts of 1 million arrests for people driving under the influence of alcohol. This does not include all those who were not arrested but choose to put themselves and others at risk by driving drunk. Statistics show that 111 million people self-report driving impaired each year in the United States.
With such a risk, it is difficult to imagine people are willing to put their futures on the line. Penalties for DUI include fines, possible jail time, loss of license, and a host of other unpleasant consequences. Furthermore, if you are unfortunate enough to injure another person, you may be faced with vehicular homicide charges and spend many years in jail.
In addition to the horrible consequences faced by the law, you will have to live with the choices you made for the rest of your life. Do you want to be the one responsible for robbing a mom and dad of their only child? Could you live with yourself if you killed your spouse or child all for the sake of a good time?
Drunk driving accidents can be prevented. Always plan ahead; once you are already drunk it will be more difficult to make wise choices. Designate a driver, take an Uber, or simply stay put until you sober up. Take steps to ensure your family, other people’s families, and yourself stay safe as you celebrate the upcoming holiday season!
Guest post submitted by Emilio De Simone, from one of Colorado’s leading DUI firms, DUI Law Firm Denver.