While it is normal to want to celebrate holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve with alcohol, make sure you are imbibing safely. These are two of the booziest holidays, according to Alcohol.org. Whether you drink alcohol or not, it can pose a health and safety hazard to you this holiday season. Drunk drivers, alcohol poisoning and physical assault all increase this time of year due to holiday parties and establishments that serve alcoholic beverages. As each holiday rolls around, the car accident attorneys at the law firm of Aaron A. Herbert want to remind the people of Dallas to keep alcohol safety in mind to prevent regrettable accidents.
Holiday Drinking Statistics
According to a survey of over 1,000 Americans, Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) is the holiday with the most drinking of alcoholic beverages. Mardi Gras, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, marks a day to indulge before the beginning of the Christian Lent season. Based on the survey, the average person drank 4.5 alcoholic beverages on Mardi Gras. This placed Mardi Gras at the top of the list of Top 10 Booziest Holidays. New Year’s Eve came second – also a day before the start of new resolutions. It would appear Americans imbibe the most to make up for giving something up the following day.
- Mardi Gras: 4.5
- New Year’s Eve: 4.4
- Patrick’s Day: 4.2
- Fourth of July: 3.8
- Halloween: 3.5
- Cinco de Mayo: 3.5
- Memorial Day: 3.3
- Labor Day: 3.2
- Winter holidays: 3.1
- Thanksgiving: 2.7
Men most associated St. Patrick’s Day with drinking alcohol, while New Year’s Eve was the holiday women most associated with booze. New Year’s Eve came in at the top in terms of holidays for binge drinking for both men (47%) and women (40%). Binge drinking refers to consuming five or more drinks in two hours for men and four or more drinks for women. The top alcoholic beverages consumed over the winter holidays are champagne, wine and beer. Binge drinking increases the risks of issues such as alcohol poisoning and drunk driving.
Drunk Driving Increases Over the Holidays
With increased alcohol consumption comes a corresponding spike in drunk driving accidents over the holidays. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a dangerous crime that takes thousands of lives each year. Your odds of getting into a DWI accident increase over the holidays, even if you are 100% sober as a driver. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, an average of 300 people lose their lives in DWI accidents the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day alone. A shocking 781 people died in DWI crashes in December of 2016. Drunk driving deaths account for more than 25% of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. each year, with a significant surge over the holidays.
Help prevent drunk driving accidents by never driving a motor vehicle or riding a bicycle after consuming alcohol. The amount of alcohol in just one drink could be enough to negatively affect your ability to drive. Instead, find a safe ride program in your state or request a sober ride home through an app such as Uber or Lyft. Plan ahead if you think you will be drinking over the holidays. Ride with a sober friend, spend the night at the house party where you will be drinking or arrange a paid ride home such as a taxi. You can also use public transportation to prevent driving drunk. Making a commitment against driving drunk could save lives this holiday season.
Unfortunately, you could still get into a DUI accident even as a responsible driver. On holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s, thousands of intoxicated drivers make the poor choice to get behind the wheel. Avoid driving late at night and on weekends over the holidays to reduce your risk of encountering drunk drivers. Keep your eyes scanning the roadway for signs of a possible drunk driver. If you see someone swerving, cutting people off, speeding, tailgating or otherwise driving dangerously, keep your distance and call 911 to report a potential driver under the influence. Involving the police could prevent a tragic accident before it occurs.