The season of merriment is upon us, and so are the drunk drivers causing accidents and injuring others on the roadway. New Year’s Day and Christmas Day rank 5th and 6th respectively for most traffic fatalities nationally due to drunk driving. (Thanksgiving ranks #1 followed by the Fourth of July, Labor Day and Memorial Day, although these positions vary year to year.) New Year’s and Christmas land on a Wednesday this year which is somewhat helpful because Saturday sees more fatalities than any other day of the week. Friday, Sunday, Thursday, Wednesday, Monday and Tuesday trail behind.
Equally sobering is that more pedestrian deaths occur on New Year’s Day and Halloween than any other days of the year. We are all aware of trick or treaters and increased pedestrian traffic on Halloween, but New Year’s Day? It could be revelers on the street after midnight, or those jump-starting their New Year’s resolution workouts (for a day anyway).
Also keep on your radar those high flying Seahawks! Although the Super Bowl is not yet a national holiday (that’s bound to change with time), the annual extravaganza triggers a 41% increase in traffic fatalities in its wake. So be careful and party sensibly!
If you can’t drive or shouldn’t drive this holiday season after imbibing, seriously consider a cab. I know, you’re at a party in Mukilteo and live in Kent, and the cab fare is steep. But consider the expense and time of a DUI conviction. According to Seattle criminal defense attorney Kevin Trombold, a DUI will cost you a day in jail, at least $5,000 in attorney’s fees, $1,000 in fines and court costs, $75 a month for an ignition interlock device, and possibly an alcohol treatment program with rigid attendance requirements. Think about it.
Ok, enough sermonizing. Enjoy the warmth of the holiday season and your families.