Most would guess that the rate of drunk driving increases between Christmas and New Year’s—and they are correct. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly 40% of crash fatalities between the two holidays occurs when at least one driver is alcohol-impaired, a rate that is up from 28% in the rest of December. On New Year’s Day alone, well over half of all crash fatalities involve a drunk driver.
The Statesman Journal by Kaiser Permanente published data from Alcohol Monitoring Systems, demonstrating that monitored DUI offenders increased their drinking behaviors by an average of 33% between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Furthermore, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States attributes roughly 25% of the industry’s yearly profits to alcohol sales between these two holidays.
Generally, those who tend to drink will drink more because their friends and family members are partaking, and those who rarely drink may do so for the sake of the special occasion. This increased rate, combined with the potentially dangerous road conditions of the early winter, accounts for the alarming rate of drunk driving and alcohol-related accidents.
But what exactly accounts for the increased rate of drinking (and driving)? Some cite the merriment of the holidays and our society’s association between celebration and alcohol. Others offer a similar source with a different angle—the holidays bring families together, and, for some, this may not lend itself to the most relaxing or stress-free occasion. On a simpler note, extra time off of school and work may create more opportunities to stay out late and drink even more.
No matter the reason, police and legislators have responded to the risks by increasing both enforcement and penalties at the end of each calendar year. Here are a few calculations of what DUIs may cost during the holiday season.
HOW MUCH WILL YOU PAY IF YOU GET A DUI?
All states consider drunk driving a criminal offense. Research consistently demonstrates that alcohol impairs judgment, coordination, and reaction time, all of which are vital for safe driving. Every state has different penalties and fees associated with drunk driving, but generally, a person who is arrested and convicted with a DUI will pay much more than the simple fine they might expect.
According to Driving Laws, Kansas City drivers may be responsible for the following costs after a first-time DUI:
- $150 for the average bail
- $170 in towing/vehicle storage fees
- $170 for ignition interlock devices
- $260 in DMV fees
- $360 for traffic school/substance abuse education
- $800 in annual car insurance increase
- $1,000+ in attorney fees
- $1,100 in court-ordered fines
- $4,000 in lost wages
On average, those arrested and convicted for drunk driving will pay $6,500. On top of these financial costs, a person with a DUI on their record will likely face driving restrictions, a suspended license, and even jail time. If they get into an accident, all of this will worsen, and they may need to carry the weight of someone else’s injury or death on their conscience. The injured party (or the family of the deceased) may choose to file suit, as well. All in all, the costs of drunk driving are exorbitant for both the intoxicated driver and all those on the road.
WERE YOU INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT INVOLVING A DRUNK DRIVER?
The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, reflection, and get-togethers. Unfortunately, it is also a time of increased risk of catastrophic accidents. If you or a loved one have been harmed in a collision due to another person’s reckless or inebriated driving, you deserve full coverage. At Sanders.Law, we understand how devastating a car accident can be, and we will work tirelessly to recover maximum compensation for you and your loved ones.
To learn more about our firm, call (816) 844-6938, or get started by scheduling your complimentary consultation today.