Key Points in This Article:
- Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes — that’s one person every 48 minutes.
- From 2012 to 2016, over 800 people died in alcohol-impaired car crashes throughout the Thanksgiving holiday, from Wednesday evening to Monday morning.
- Historically, the night before Thanksgiving is the most popular bar night of the year across Michigan, and also one of the most dangerous holidays for drivers.
- If you decide to drink, it’s always best to have a plan before you start. Set yourself up with a ride-share service or have a designated driver. In no circumstance, should you ever drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
According to the most recently available data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of drunk driving deaths in Michigan is on the decline. From 2017 to 2018, Michigan’s rate of drunk driving fatalities fell 16%, from a rate of 3.5 deaths per 100,000 to just 2.94 per 100,000. During this time, alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities also decreased by 3.6% nationwide. While these are promising statistics to report, drunk driving continues to be a significant factor in traffic deaths as a whole, accounting for 29% of overall fatalities in 2018, and represented a trend during certain times of the year.
On special occasions when more people are gathering and celebrating with alcohol, more and more Michiganders are making the wrong decision to get behind the wheel. One of those days happens right before the Thanksgiving holiday, also marked Thanksgiving Eve, Black Wednesday, DUI Season and Drinksgiving. Known as one of the most congested traveling days of the year, the day has also been identified as one of the busiest for drinking.
Each year, Thanksgiving Eve kicks off sober driving pleas and holiday DUI campaigns from Michigan State Police (MSP) that run through New Year’s night. This is a time when the NHTSA estimates about 45 drunk driving deaths happen each day, with the hours from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. being the most likely times motorists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists will share the road with an impaired driver.
The Drunk Driving and Drug Use Connection
MSP released a report in March 2019 from the Impaired Driving Safety Commission that showed drug-involved crashes and fatal crashes were on the rise in Michigan. After alcohol, prescription drugs, cannabinoids and marijuana, and cocaine are the drugs most often linked to impaired driving. According to the report, nearly 90% of drivers who tested positive for cannabinoids were also consuming alcohol, and almost 50% had been drinking before getting behind the wheel.
To keep our roads safe and free of drunk and drug-impaired drivers on Thanksgiving Eve, everyone can follow these few simple rules to ensure a safe and sober ride home.
Recognize Your Holiday Drinking Limits and Follow These Tips
After any amount of drinks (or when taking drugs), always assume you are not equipped to drive. Instead, take these following precautions at the beginning of your Thanksgiving Eve and always find ways to prepare for and recognize your limits.
- Always refrain from using alcohol (and drugs) if you plan to drive.
- Know your plan for getting home after partying and know of a sober driver to call if you need one.
- Leave your car at home and instead utilize Uber Detroit, Flint, or Ann Arbor, or a cab to take you to your drinking destination.
- Before drinking at someone’s house, hand off your car keys to your Drinksgiving host.
- Park your car in a location where you will feel comfortable leaving it overnight, so you don’t find yourself tempted to drive.
- Know what your public transportation options are at the spot where you will be. A bartender or restaurant staff may be able to help with this if you find yourself in a difficult situation.
- Download the NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app available on Google Play for Android devices and Apple’s iTunes Store for IOS devices. SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
- Lead by example and discuss the risks of drunk (and drugged) driving with family, teens, and friends.
- Sober drivers should travel roads defensively.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911, the local Michigan State Police post, or a telephone operator for immediate help.
- Whether riding or driving, always wear your seat belt.
Do your part, be a responsible driver, follow the law and never drive after drinking – and help prevent intoxicated drivers from getting behind the wheel by sharing this message with others.
The attorneys and staff at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm care greatly about our clients and the members of the many Michigan communities we serve, especially when starting to celebrate the joyful holiday season to come. From all of us, welcome these reminders and focus on celebrating this time of gratitude and togetherness. If alcohol is involved and someone decides to drink (or take drugs), they need to have a smart plan to get home.
If something does happen and you are injured in a drunk driving accident, or a loved one has been killed by the selfish acts of an intoxicated or drug-impaired driver, call us for help. We will be right there.
Contact Us Now If A Drunk or Impaired Driver Injured You
We hope if you are involved in an accident involving a drunk or impaired driver this Thanksgiving Eve or holiday season, that you aren’t afraid to seek legal advice on what to do next. Our drunk driving accident lawyers will be ready to support you in your time of need and healing, and we can help decrease the financial pressures on your family by aggressively pursuing a personal injury claim on your behalf.
For more information, call The Lee Steinberg Law Firm and speak to our accident attorneys at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form. And remember, you pay nothing until we settle your accident case.