During the holidays many will enjoy a festive cocktail to celebrate. While it is all in good fun, the night can quickly turn fatal due to a drunk driver.
To prevent drunk driving accidents, DUI-related traffic stops increase by 33 percent on Christmas Eve. On New Year’s Eve, over 42 percent of accidents are the result of drunk driving. During the holidays, individuals who do not typically drink throughout the year have, “a drink or two” and many teens who are not in school or have responsibilities may engage in risky behavior on the road. In 2015, an estimated 1,200 alcohol-related deaths occurred during the holiday season.
What is a DWI in NY?
DWI laws differ from state to state. To determine if you are legally driving while intoxicated, each state has a limit for blood alcohol concentration, also known as BAC. Specifically in New York, if your BAC is 0.08 percent or higher, they will complete a DWI arrest. Other punishments may include expensive fines, license suspension, and jail time.
Drunk Driving Statistics
Numbers do not lie. Take a look at these scary drunk driving statistics:
- 50 to 75 percent of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive while using a suspended license.
- Every two minutes, a victim is injured in a drunk driving crash.
- 27 people die as a result of drunk driving accidents daily in the U.S.
- Drunk driving costs each adult in the U.S. more than $500 each year.
- In 2013, 28.7 million people admitted to driving while intoxicated. This number is more than the entire population of Texas.
DUI vs. DWI
Maybe you have heard of both terms, but there is a difference between DUI and DWI. DUI stands for driving under the influence, which could include drugs or alcohol, while DWI means driving while intoxicated. However, you may not realize that DUI is not a term actually used by New York State. The two terms used are DWI and DWAI, which stands for driving while ability impaired. A DWI means the individual is above the legal limit of 0.08 percent BAC. A DWAI is when the driver is between 0.05 and 0.07 percent or the driver is impaired due to other circumstances. Both a DWI and a DWAI are criminal charges and have similar punishments as mentioned above. Although while a DWAI is not quite as severe, it is still a very serious matter.
Top 5 Tips to Prevent Drunk Driving
So after reading all of these statistics and facts, you may be wondering what you can do to prevent drunk driving accidents. Take a look at these tips to save you from a DWI and your community from suffering as a result of someone being seriously injured or wrongful death.
- Decide on a designated driver before your night begins. Before you even leave for the night, decide how you will be getting home, whether someone in your group will stay sober for the night, or whether you will call a cab. Whatever you decide, make the plans before you start drinking.
- If throwing a party, be sure to serve lots of food and offer non-alcoholic beverages. A full stomach can slow down the rate of alcohol absorption and if you offer sodas or juices, guests may not feel as uncomfortable not participating in drinking.
- If speaking with someone who is impaired, try not to be confrontational. You do not want to intimidate the person. Gently suggest calling a cab or inviting friends to sleepover.
- Take an impaired individual’s keys. They are more likely to stay or agree to a ride if you hold this leverage.
- When all else fails, contact the police. While it seems harsh, having a friend under police supervision is better than having them injured or killed.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a drunk driving accident and were injured by a drunk driver, contact The People’s Lawyer. We are experienced personal injury lawyers in Central New York prepared to fight for you and your rights. We do not take a DWI lightly. At Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi & Pearlman, the safety of our community is of utmost importance. If you or a loved one is injured this holiday season by no fault of your own, contact us today for a free consultation to see if you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries.
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