Holidays have become synonymous with increased rates of drinking and driving, and unfortunately deaths. According to the Watertown Daily Times, St. Patrick’s Day has become a “deadly day”:
“Unfortunately, March 17 has become a deadly day in the United States, with a dramatic spike in drunk-driving fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend in 2013 (6 p.m., March 16 to 5:59 a.m., March 18), more than a third (40 percent) of all crash fatalities involved drunk drivers.”
These statistics are quite staggering; however, it is unclear how these statistics relate to New York because the data from the NHTSA was nationwide.
In response to increased accident rates and deaths on St. Patrick’s Day, the New York State Stop DWI Taskforce has cracked down on drinking and driving by increasing police presence. In Upstate New York, the funding for the increased police presence on St. Patrick’s Day came from a special grant given by the NHTSA. It is not yet clear how effective these crackdowns were as data may not be available for some time, if at all.
Holiday crackdowns also appear to be an opportune time to target drunk drivers because people tend to be more careless around major holidays, especially those associated with drinking. The NHTSA has even created a special campaign to address drunk driving on St. Patrick’s Day. The campaign is aimed at promoting the dangers of buzzed driving.
The NHTSA is making a concerted effort to inform the public, even if some of these infographics come across as corny, because knowledge can be an effective tool against drunk driving. Some people may even be more willing to test or surpass their drinking limits on holidays and not realize the consequences they could face if they get behind the wheel.
There is help available if you have received a DWI on a holiday. You should always consult an experienced DWI attorney who can guide you through the process to ensure your rights are protected and that you do not simply become another statistic in a government sponsored infographic.
The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem.