The holiday season brings both the opportunity for joy and plenty of reasons to feel stressed out. Whether you travel to stay with family or they come to you, there is much to arrange and plan for. You have to worry about gifts, meals, travel and keeping the peace. There is also the financial stress that comes from purchasing gifts for all the people you love in a short period of time.
Some people even find spending a day or two with family to be a source of stress. Combine that with a desire to party and have fun, and you may find that more people are drinking alcohol then they would on other days of the year. It makes sense then, that drunk driving is a bigger risk around the holiday season.
Drunk driving crashes spike around the holidays
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, an average of 300 people die in drunk driving crashes every year in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. In 2016, the most recent year with statistics available, 781 people died of drunk driving accidents just in December.
With all of the office parties and family get-togethers, more people are drinking. Many of them also have to travel. The end result is that there are, unfortunately, more people under the influence on the road in the month of December and early January then there are many other times of the year.
Law enforcement officials are aware of this trend, and enforcement efforts definitely increase around the holidays. In some areas, they may even put up sobriety checkpoints and roadblocks to ensure that the roads are as safe as possible. However, no amount of enforcement can reduce the risk that a drunk driver causes to others on the road.
Civil lawsuits help you hold a drunk driver accountable
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is absolutely against the law in Massachusetts. However, just because it is a criminal offense does not mean you don’t have the right to take civil action as well.
If a drunk driver causes a crash with your car, they will more than likely face criminal consequences for their decision to drive drunk. That could include a fine, loss of their license and jail time. Regardless of whether they get found guilty, you will have the opportunity to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
The cost of property damage, any medical expenses and lost wages you experience as a result of your injuries can be sought from the person who caused the crash. While the best situation would involve not getting hurt in a crash, at least you can hold the irresponsible driver accountable for the injuries they caused and offset the financial impact of the crash on your life.