Drinking and Driving During the Holiday Season

Photo of a group of individual wearing holiday hats, mid cheers.

The holiday season is a time for celebration and gathering with loved ones, but unfortunately, it can also be a time for tragedy on the roads. Drinking and driving is a significant danger during the holidays, with many people participating in holiday parties and celebrations that involve alcohol. Drunk driving accidents can have devastating consequences, and it's essential to understand the risks and take steps to prevent them.

How Long Does Alcohol Stay In Your System?

Many people are unaware of how long alcohol can stay in their system and how it can affect their driving. After drinking, it takes about one hour for the body to metabolize one standard drink. A standard drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor. It's vital to know your limits and how alcohol affects you to ensure you're not impaired before getting behind the wheel.

Driving At Varied Levels of Blood Alcohol Concentration

Factors that can affect how alcohol affects you include your weight, gender, and the amount of food in your stomach. However, the general rule of thumb is that one standard drink increases your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) by 0.02%, and a 0.08% BAC level takes approximately four to five drinks to reach. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has outlined the effects of alcohol on driving ability at the following levels:

  • .02 BAC Level: decline in visual functions, decline in the ability to perform two tasks at the same time.
  • .05 BAC Level: reduced coordination, reduced ability to track moving objects, difficulty steering, reduced response to emergency driving situations.
  • .08 BAC Level: concentration, short-term memory loss, speed control, reduced information processing capability, impaired perception.
  • .10 BAC Level: reduced ability to maintain lane position and brake appropriately.
  • .15 BAC Level: substantial impairment in vehicle control, attention to driving task, and necessary visual and auditory information processing.

Drunk Driving Statistics During the Holidays

Statistics show that drunk driving accidents are more prevalent during the holiday season. According to the NHTSA, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day is considered the deadliest on the roads due to drunk driving accidents. In 2019, 839 people died in drunk driving crashes in December alone. These numbers show the importance of taking extra precautions during the holiday season, such as arranging for a designated driver.

Louisiana Drunk Driving Accidents

The holiday season is meant to be a time of celebration, but it's crucial to prioritize safety when it comes to drinking and driving. Remember that alcohol can stay in your system for several hours after consuming it, and just one drink can be enough to impair your driving. Consider alternative transportation options like ride-sharing services or arranging for a designated driver to ensure you and others stay safe on the roads. By taking these steps, you can help reduce the risk of drunk driving accidents during the holiday season and beyond.

If you were injured in a car crash caused by an intoxicated driver, we can help. Our Baton Rouge car accident attorneys have significant experience assisting people and families whose lives have been upended by drunk motorists.

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